Tonight we danced outside at the annual opening of the Christmas festival downtown called Dickens of a Christmas. Last year I mentioned it a little bit and briefly talked about how cold it was, and I'm glad that I didn't go into much detail about the temperatures last year because this year was far worse. Last year it was a meek 40 degrees, but this year it was a biting 27 degrees with high winds. It was probably not a good idea to be dancing out there in a leotard and tights, but the people came for a show, so we were there to give them one. That's show biz...
We were moved to a different location this year which made the walk to the stage a little more exhausting and less discrete. A nearby bank let us use their lobby as a dressing room and recooperating area before we were to run 20 yards to the stage in the freezing cold. We were allowed to wear our peacoats and pants down to the stage, but as soon as the dance preceding yours took the stage, you had to strip down to your costume. People in the audience wrapped around the stage and into the streets. Some audience members were right beside me as I continued to keep warm by doing jumping jacks and high-knees, but I didn't pay any attention to them and their remarks. I had to focus. It's not easy dancing on a plywood stage with a thin bit of fabric keeping your body warmth in and still keeping grace in your every step and a pleasant look on your face. I performed Cinderella and the kickline - It's Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas.
My Cinderella variation surprisingly went better tonight than I thought I did at the Nutcracker Ball! I was definitely shocked because the only difference was the setting - this one was a little less formal and a little more chilly. But I had a costume malfunction in the middle of my variation...my shoe started coming off! I know I'm Cinderella, but in the actual ballet I'm supposed to perform this dance as soon as I get to the ball, so my shoe started coming off about an hour too early! I just got to the ball, damnitt! Good thing people don't take it too seriously, and I quickly pulled up the heel of my shoe before I got kicked out of the ball.
The show closed out with the kickline, and it was the best we've ever done it! We knew that with a few more rehearsals that the kickline would be looking polished and perfect for the last time we would ever have to perform it. And as usual, the crowd loved it. It's the closest thing many of them will ever see to a Rockette show, although I do wish that everyone could go see a Rockette show (including me). But they all loved it. And after we strutted offstage, we stopped pretending we weren't cold and ran back to the bank lobby to get back into our peacoats and sweatpants and rip off our fake eyelashes.
At the end of the night, we all walked out of the bank lobby with black smudges on our face from makeup wipes' attempts at making us look street-appropriate, sweatpants, and 5 bags on our shoulders and in our hands. We look bag ladies just going to Dicken's of a Christmas for a good time. We walked past the stage and it was empty. No one was surrounding the stage anymore. But the big christmas tree was right behind it looking pretty and bright just like it should. We seniors got a little teary eyed, both from the blowing winds and the sadness of our last performance at Dicken's of a Christmas, and we walked off to get some hot chocolate and kettle corn.
Are you starting to get into the Christmas spirit?