"I am very excited to be chosen as your Starlet. I am not sure if you are aware but I willbe a returning Starlet. So that could be good or bad depending on your perspective on it. Last time I performed a cha cha to Mandisa Overcomer. It was a very difficult dance but I did it and I believe I rocked it. So I felt great about it. I can't wait to learn something new...."
My first email from Dee Sanchez, my Starlet for 2017, who also is a self-proposed "Dance Mom" (If you're reading this blog, it means you are too, but if you aren't it means; seamstress, competition driver, eyelash glue-er and much more.) Not to mention she also has a background in Musical Theater and Vocals!
Last year, Melanie Georges and I performed "All That Jazz" from Broadway & Fosse's Chicago and Melanie won Fan Favorite! My creativity at the beginning of the fall had not been flowing so far. It's my 2nd season at the helm of MIMDance and just 2 weeks after my wedding. Dee and I set a date to discuss costuming, music, style and plan out our dance, a 2 hour affair including laughter, making connections, storytelling and yes, I catch the tears behind her eyes as she retells thoughtful moments too.
Dee has chosen a song perfect for the dance. We are immediately on the same page and all of the puzzle pieces fall into place.
All she knows is that she wants to tell a story, all I know is it is my job to make that happen through dance, and I'm nervous as hell. Now I'm on the spot come up with a dance that honors this woman, her family and friends and their journey in just the right way in front of a huge audience. This is what choreographers and artists do, let's rock and roll!
The afternoon starts with, "Music was an important part of my treatment, I would just sit with headphones on." while trying to channel the strength and bravery.
In "Brave" by Moriah Peters, stand out sections of our journey through the dance and music include a portrayal of her husband during the lyric "Impossible is possible with you" and "No More running, no more hiding" where with me as her guide, we fight to untie her headscarf and toss it together joyously towards the audience before moving on with our dance.
"Impossible is possible with you"
Dee tells me that she hid her bald head from chemotherapy treatments for a long time, not wanting to go out in public. Just 1 part of a journey that can seem so long is the moment when you can bravely "shed" that headscarf.
Did I mention that we couldn't rehearse at all for the first 2 weeks due to Dee's foot surgery? That's right, Dee and I plan on dancing in just a few weeks EVEN THOUGH she just had surgery on her toes on her left foot. Dropping out of Starlet's is not an option for Dee, her toe surgery was necessary because of neuropathy in her foot caused by her chemotherapy treatments, a common and serious ailment and side effect in cancer patients. To Dee, it's just another step in her journey.
"Dropping out of Starlet's is not an option for Dee."
Once we dance on stage November 4th (at Sandler Center from 7-10 pm Adult Tickets are $25 and student tickets are $15 - get yours HERE) then we'll really show all aspects of the journey, bum foot and all!
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