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It doesn’t get more magical than dancing at Disney

By Caitlin Friel Central Bucks East High School (phillyburbs.com)

An article written by one of our dance company students about her Disney dancing experience.

Still, no matter how old we get, the magic that lives in Walt Disney World will always appeal to our childish tendencies.

It is easy, then, to imagine my excitement when I found out I would get the opportunity to not only go to the Happiest Place on Earth, but to perform there, as well. I have been dancing for the majority of my life, and any chance I get to perform in front of other people is one I am likely to take.

I know what you’re thinking, and, no, this is nothing like “Dance Moms.” I am extremely fortunate to go to a non-competitive, performance-based dance studio where the moms are not catty and the instructors are sincerely interested in everyone in the class.

The first time I went to Disney with Marlyn Abramson’s New Dance Workshop was two years ago, and 2013 marks the studio’s sixth invitational performance to showcase its choreography and the talents of their dancers, ranging from about 6 to 18 years of age. Likewise, it was my second time performing in the presence of the big mouse down south.

The whole “Disney Journey” began in October 2012, when auditions were held among the attending company members and each dancer was placed in a group according to age. After that came four months of weekly rehearsals. As a dancer, this meant about three hours each Sunday spent learning, rehearsing and perfecting three to four distinct numbers. (As a whole, six numbers were performed.)

I’m not going to lie — it was exhausting. But when my flight landed in Orlando nearly two weeks ago, it became clear all of the blood, sweat and tears (OK, just a lot of sweat) were worth it.

Mere hours prior to our performance, we were taken to a top-secret rehearsal trailer where we could change into our costumes, glitter our hair (so much glitter was sprayed that I’m nearly positive there’s still some lingering in my hair and in my nose) and mentally prepare ourselves for what was surely going to be the most memorable performance of our short lives. We quickly ran through our dances, snapped a few group photos and then were back on the bus and on our way to Downtown Disney with the guidance of our ultra-peppy Disney attendant.

Upon arrival, we all crowded in the backstage area, equally eager and anxious for the performance to begin.

I don’t know what it is about being in Disney World, but for the past two times I’ve danced there, both the performances and the audience turnout have been absolutely phenomenal.

Basically, we owned that stage.

The best part? About 40 minutes later, we got to do it all over again.

Performing in Disney made me realize a childhood dream I never even knew I had. Who needs to be a princess when you can do what you love in a place where the magic never ends?

I wouldn’t trade the unforgettable experience I’ve had for all of the unicorns and diamond-encrusted shoes in the world.

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