Today was incredible! the cast and I were finally able to get past the logistics of orientation and get down to business! Getting up at 6:45 is a little bit challenging for me because I stay up with Ryan and Javi all night, but our morning trip to the Sherman Center is quite an insane feeling. Colleen, our host mom, takes us to the city bus stop near her house. The guys and I have about an hour trip into the city. As we walk to The Sherman Center, I feel as if we are actors in a Sister Act movie. The city of Denver is alive with traffic and pedestrians, but walking from all directions are 18-29 year old singers and dancers dressed in workout cloths. It is simply mind-boggling to see all these students formulating on the streets outside this hundred-year-old building. I am surprised at how clean everything is. You can hear loud music coming from open windows. Since the weather is perfect every day, the building is completely open and students sit on the front steps and in the hallways tapping out rhythms and listening to iPods.
Today was the first day that we were able to start moving after meeting our choreographers and production managers. We spent the first part of the day in a long seminar learning about the history and quality of our performance. We were able to see a short demonstration performed by our dance and aerobic instructors. After the morning seminar, we went down to the ballroom and began our first day of class / educational session. We talked about making goals and the importance of learning from those around us. Many of the movement and educational exercises we did throughout the morning seemed somewhat elementary, but as the day progressed I began to feel an overwhelming sense of belonging. Today was the first day I began to feel concrete relationships beginning to take place. I found lunch to be quite exciting; our food was served on molded plastic trays just like the ones from my Maryland high school. The whole day seemed like some sort of 80's pop dance movie. I truly believe that the past four days of UWP have been the most incredible days of my educational background. The value of this tour is overwhelmingly worth every dollar my family and I have spent getting me here.
Our afternoon activities were unlike anything else I have experienced before. We began learning to dance by taking part in a large group aerobics class. I will begin working with the band and playing the guitar on Thursday, but until then and after, I will be lined up every day in aerobics classes as they evolve into structured dance. I think the highlight of my day was catching chicks as we practiced the Lover's Leap. Surprisingly, no one hit the floor during this exercise.
Tomorrow we will be broken down into small groups and begin auditioning for our singing parts. As for now, the guys and I are sitting around a campfire of Macs. Here are some pictures of the ballroom and the dance presentation we saw.