Practice, Practice, Practice…

Practices have been packed, tryouts have been exciting, and song selections have been handed out.

From now on all practices are mandatory! We have to be there everyday of the week, as we now work in smaller groups. ROYCE MODE is in full action. And, I suspect that some of the first year dancers will realize what we all mean over the next week, and the closer we get to the performance.

A few weeks ago elections took place. Many of those returning stood in front of the whole group and had the daunting task of explaining how committed they were to the group and the plans that they will have for next year. This was going to be the last year I would be fully involved in Grupo, or as a fully involved member. It began to dawn on me how after four years of sitting through practices and learning footwork, half of which I do not remember, it will soon come to an end.

However, the great thing about those elections was that it showed me how many of the members are fully committed. And I believe it says a lot about the group and how much of an impact it makes on certain people.

 In simple terms, it was great knowing that although many of us who saw the group grow are leaving, the group is left in competent enough hands that will continue to improve the group and allow it to flourish.

Tryouts were the week following elections. Yep, tryouts. You review all songs on Tuesday, sign up for the dances you wish to perform at Royce, and then on Thursday of the same week perform them in front of the group against others who are fighting for the same spot.

Deciding who gets what depends not only on the tryout, but also on the number of costumes the group has, the need to share costumes, and your status as a member in good standing. With more than 70 members, I don’t envy our Artistic Director job.

Overall, tryouts were great, people were amazing, and it got everyone really excited for Royce. If people were that good in dances taught during Fall quarter, I can only imagine their awesomeness after three weeks of only focusing on a few dances.

I am not going to lie, I only tried out for three, and all in the same region compared to others who tried out for five or more spread throughout five regions. I don’t stand a chance in hell to get those dances but it was a blast dancing the ones I love among my friends.

Tuesday of the following week we were informed of our dances. Most got one or two, some got three, and my status on NOT being a member in good standing only got me the senior dance. I am not complaining–in fact, it was the one I wanted.

 Since last year, graduating seniors who have been part of Grupo for two or more years have the opportunity to dance a Lifelong Member song at Royce. I understand that my other commitments prevented me in the last two years from being as involved in the Grupo as before, hence I did not expect any other dance. It is fulfilling to know that I exit a group that has had a profound impact on my UCLA experience with my fellow seniors of whom came on with me and helped create memories that I cherish.

Now we only have a few days to look and sound perfect…OFF TO ROYCE!!


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