It’s summer: that means hot days, cold drinks, and lots of time with friends and family. For CenterStage performers it also means the start of choreography for our 2016 show: A Night On Broadway. We’ve been working hard learning music and planning small group numbers, but now it’s time to get moving. Really moving.
I personally didn’t really start dancing until I was in college, and even then it was only in the context of musical theatre. Now, as a performing member of CS, I have spent the last 4 years tapping into skills I never knew existed in me.
Choreography is more than just steps and spins, it becomes a collection of lessons in teamwork, focus, persistence, and learning that it is ok to laugh at yourself.
Let me give you a peek behind the scenes to show you some things I’ve learned while dancing with CenterStage.
Dancing is a great workout
I was never into team sports, so it’s nice to know I have an athletic outlet every week at rehearsal.
Quality over Complexity
With attention to detail you can make even the easiest moves look impressive.
You come to rehearsal not to just learn your part—but also everyone else’s
We are a team and we are all here to make each other look good.
The moment you finally nail a move can change your whole mood
Take time to celebrate and hope you can repeat it.
Don’t be afraid to take the lead
If you learn a move faster than others you can help teach it to someone else.
A little encouragement goes a long way
After a full rehearsal it’s nice to hear that all your hard work is paying off.
“Put your own style on it” has limits
Just because you CAN break it down with the best of them, doesn’t always mean that you should. Sometimes it takes more focus to blend in than it does to stand out.
“One more time” is usually a lie
Falling out of love with your favorite song after the 100th run-through is possible. But you’ll reignite the flame during the first performance.
We’re all in this together
As a group we learn at different levels, in different ways and by the end of the process we all come together to put on a great show. There is no better feeling than knowing your fellow performers each put in 100%, not just for themselves, but for everyone around them.
From messing up the words to a song we were once able to recite in our sleep, and suddenly forgetting how to walk in a straight line, to being able to sing and dance at the same time, we go through quite the journey. One thing is for sure—we have a lot fun along the way!
We’ve been busy this summer and we won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Come see the final product of all our hard work as we dance through A Night On Broadway.
CenterStage is happy to introduce the 2016 production: A Night on Broadway. My name is Jenna and I would love to give you an all access pass as we plan, practice, and perform our 2016 show!
First, let me tell you a little bit about my relationship with CenterStage. I was introduced to the group back in 2007 when my mom first joined the choir. As the performances drew near, she asked me to tag along to a rehearsal to videotape the choreography. We had always shared a love of performing, so I was more than happy to help. Plus I loved getting a sneak peek at the show.
Proud Mary was the first number I remember watching. There were go-go dancers and spinning umbrellas. The spectacle was enough to turn me into a fan. I remember enjoying my time there so much I spent more time watching the choreography than filming it. (The quality of taping went downhill as the numbers became more entertaining)
I watched the performers go from the rehearsal space to dancing under the bright lights of the Grand Theatre. I was in awe of the musical talent that made up the choir. I was hooked and I have seen or been involved in every show since.
I saw magic happen in that small rehearsal space. And that is what I hope to do for you readers as well: give you a glimpse into the magic that is CenterStage Band and Show Choir.
This year’s show is particularly special to me. In 2008 I was able to lend my time and talents to the group for the first time as an actor. That show was Broadway 101 and now 8 years later we are revisiting that theme, and I am so excited to be experiencing it as a member of the choir.
By performing Broadway songs this year we hope to get back to our roots as a show choir. We pride ourselves in putting on a top-notch show and in an effort to keep our quality high, we are going to do what we do best: SING. But just like any Broadway show, you can bet we will still give you all the razzle dazzle.
You may be thinking, “I don’t know any Broadway—what should I expect?” Expect to find something to love! Broadway has come a long way over the years (even since CS’s last Broadway-themed show). We are hoping to pull from classic shows and songs to get toes tapping, but also introduce our audiences to a new class of Broadway.
Broadway means so much more now than jazz hands and kick lines.There are shows like Book of Mormon and Avenue Q that are pushing the envelope when it comes to what characters sing about. Rock of Ages is bringing the hair bands of the 1980’s to the stage for a concert experience. And movies like Legally Blonde, Matilda, and School of Rock have all been adapted for live performance, adding music to stories that already have a fan base.
And this is an exciting time for Broadway musicals too. Hamilton: An American Musical was recently awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, becoming only the ninth musical to earn the award. The hip-hop retelling of the legacy of Alexander Hamilton has taken the world by storm and is bringing in a new generation of theatre-goers.
So what does this new wave of Broadway mean for us as performers and more importantly for our audience members? It means that we have a wide range of genres and styles to choose from. We will find a little something for everyone: Rock, Country, Jazz, Motown, Pop and everything in between all tied up with a Broadway bow.
We can’t wait to show you what we come up with. Our members are already buzzing with ideas to best showcase our talents and knowledge of the theater. We hope you not only hear some of your favorite show tunes, but also fall in love with something new. It is sure to be a must-see event.
So, keep an eye on our blog to catch some behind the scenes magic as we put together
A Night on Broadway!
This fall, CenterStage Band and Show Choir will be celebrating its 10th anniversary, and the choir is already in full swing, preparing to make this show an unforgettable milestone.
While looking back at the last 9 successful and memorable shows, it is just as important to remember 9 years of giving more than just music to our community.
I believe in order for an organization to be successful for as long as CenterStage has, it needs to be built on a strong foundation. It needs to give its members a central focus that the whole group can believe in. Our mission statement does exactly that:
“We believe that fostering a band and show choir dedicated to well-performed entertainment enhances the quality of life for the entire community — before the stage, CenterStage, backstage, at any stage of life.”
While we may be known for our “well-performed entertainment” once a year, I think it is our yearlong involvement in the greater Wausau area that truly shows our dedication to enhancing and serving our community.
We love to spread joy through music and have had wonderful opportunities to spread that joy throughout the area in a variety of different volunteer events, sing-outs and performances. In 2015 alone, CenterStage logged 1,185 volunteer hours!
When we’re not preparing for our annual show (and sometimes even while we are), we can be found singing at Never Forgotten Honor Flights, singing the National Anthem at various events including Wisconsin Woodchuck baseball games, helping out at community events like the Kris Kringle Christmas Market and Younkers Community Sale, and traveling the area to carol during the holiday season.
Whether we are singing or just lending some helping hands, CenterStage has always been community-centered and will continue to find new ways to help out the community that has supported us for so long!
To see more ways CenterStage stays involved all year round, follow us on Facebook: CenterStage Band and Show Choir