On the first Saturday of December, our studio did a “downtown takeover”, turning several shop windows in downtown Meaford into tiny stages. We had been preparing for months, practicing at the studio and at home, getting costumes sorted and fitted, and organizing dancers into duos, trios and quartets, and in one case, a solo.
When the day finally came, each group of students stood on their own inside a shop window, looking out at the audience of friends and family assembled on the street. Music played inside and out, and the first team performed their dance, then exited the stage while the other team performed theirs. Over the period of each hour, each team performed their tap, ballet or contemporary dance several times. A quick switch over brought a new group of dancers to each window for another hour's worth of dancing.
It was a transformative experience. The very first performance was full of jitters and nerves, and dancers were relieved when it was over. Just as quickly, it was their turn to perform again, so up they went! Each time they returned to the stage, they performed with more assertiveness and confidence. By the end of the hour, students were demonstrating a “star quality” that seemed inborn, but is actually only achievable through this kind of concentrated work.