Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Dance

In the duration of the last four months, I've already attended my first two school dances, the most recent of which was called "The Anti-Prom".  This June, it was Masquerade themed.  You may have heard of this; every year the New York Public Library hosts a prom for teens that don't feel comfortable in an actual prom.
Before this, I went to a much smaller, private 20's themed dance for homeschoolers, complete with a swing dance lesson at the beginning.  (It was an absolute blast!)  So I had somehow got it in my mind that this dance would be something like it:  Cerebral, artistic people, tin pan alley songs... weird stuff.  Because that was what I was picturing when the website said "Teens that don't feel comfortable in an actual prom".  
So, for weeks, I was planning this day; what i was wearing, wondering who was going, and the question of getting there.  See, i was in the chorus of I Pagliacci (which is a very disturbing opera about clowns that all kill each other at the end, Shakespeare style), and I had rehearsal the day of the Anti-Prom.  And the director was a bit... overanxious about the production, to say the least.  My brother and i decided we should just go, and it would be much kinder if we didn't tell her.  (I was ONLY in the chorus, with 30 other people, after all)
Our friend PJ, and his parents picked us up.  We sat in the car, chatting, and admiring each other's masks  It took a rather long time to get to Bryant park, thanks to that 6 PM manhattan traffic we all loved so.  When we got there, about a dozen of my friends were there waiting to greet us... and 600 teenagers.  SIX HUNDRED.  I don't think I've EVER been around that many teenagers!  
The dance area itself was very nice (I would've probably hosted a 19th century ball there); Very elegant with chandeliers and marble floors... And then the music started.  Okay, picture this:  Nicki Minaj blaring deafeningly out of the speakers, and 600 teenagers doing that fist pump- jumpy thing.  I don't even think that counts as DANCING.  It was, um... a bit of a culture shock for me to say the least.  So I just kept telling myself, "It'll count as research, Sydney, it's good reference for writing or acting..."  
I learned quite a few things about proms (though this is the only one I've been to):
  1. The dancing usually consists of the aforementioned fist-pump-jumping thing, or whenever someone starts to run, everybody else joins in, putting their hands on the shoulders of the person in front, making a large loop around the room.
  2. In the secluded corners of the room, there is at least one kissing couple.
  3. There is lots of flirting.
  4. The music does not have anything from the 1920s.
And you know those "teens that don't feel comfortable in an actual prom"?  Not nerds.  Not cellists.  Not Whovians.  
Though not EVERYBODY was quite as bad, it seemed that about half the people there were tattooed, transgender druggies.  
I DID run into a couple of old friends I haven't seen since we were in a play three years ago.  So we caught up, and that was very nice!
I absolutely love dancing, but I'm very picky about my music.  Not so is the case for my friend Neva.  She absolutely adores dancing, and she doesn't care what the music is.  And it was NOT the fist-pumping kind, either.   Neva was dancing so much,  that the people of the library staff had their cameras trained on her feet (and probably posted the videos on their website).  
She coaxed me into doing a kickline with a couple of other friends.  And then the rest of the "improv crew" (as my brother Quintin refers to our friends).  
So... yeah.  i had some very interesting experiences there.  And the following morning at rehearsal I decided to give a rose to the director of the opera.