Last month my Zumba instructor asked me if I'd like to participate in the Hornets halftime show with a large group of dancers. I said yes because I love Zumba and I didn't have any plans the day of the game. The experience ended up being a little bit crazy and a whole lot of fun.
The halftime performance was open to groups all around the Carolina's. Local groups conducted their own rehearsals, following the video that was posted online. I attended a Saturday rehearsal two weeks ago with my Y participants. I am not a natural dancer. In fact, I have very little rhythm or coordination. Admittedly, I did not know the dance as well as some of the other participants, but I knew the general movements and timing. I knew where my arms and legs were supposed to be, but I paid less attention to details such as flat hands vs. fists. I could certainly blend in with 200 other dancers.
My biggest concern about the event was the all white dress code. I had to wear my 10 year old tennis shoes because they were the only white ones I owned. I had to buy white jeggings and borrow a friend's white maternity tank top. It was horribly unflattering, but at least I knew everyone else was going to be wearing all white. Once again, I knew I wouldn't stand out among the crowd, which took off any pressure.
The halftime performance was an all day affair. My group was meeting at the YMCA at 2, then carpooling to the rehearsal site at 3. We had dinner reservations at 5 and had to be at the arena at 6.
In my rushing around to get ready, I quickly shaved my legs, then put on my white pants. I don't know how I managed to cut myself so badly shaving, but I was aghast to look down and see splatters of blood on my pants. I was running late and didn't have time to soak the pants. I was worried I would get more blood on them by taking them off. My first response was the spray bleach and dab with a wet washcloth. That resulted in burning, irritated legs and made my pants look even worse!
I clearly didn't own another pair of white pants, so I ended up rolling my pants up. We were suppose to wear pants or capris, but that just didn't work out for me. Oh well!
Rehearsal was disorganized and confusing as far as the line-up goes, but lots of fun with the dancing. I've never danced a routine with 200 other people. There were so many new experiences.
It was interesting to socialize with a different group of people. I hardly speak to the ladies before regular class; I certainly don't talk with them outside of class. We're quite an eclectic group of people from various ages, nationalities, and interests. You can tell we're (mostly they) are all dancers because everyone was moving, shaking, and singing with each new song that played during dinner.
Once we got to the arena, we didn't even time to go to our seats. We went straight to the meeting place and started lining up in formation. Again, this was incredibly confusing. The rehearsal was at a different venue. Some of the out of town people were late. The greatest confusion was that we were in numbered rows and columns, and no one seemed to distinquish the difference. When the leader said to line up by rows, some people were lining up based on who was in front and behind them at rehearsal, while other people lined up with the people to their right and left. It was a mess!
Somehow we all ended up on the court.
I placed a red arrow to show where I stood. The routine had a complete rotation, so I was either in the very front or the very back, depending on what part of the song it was. Unfortunately, I discovered that I cannot smile and dance at the same time. The choreographer kept telling us to smile and be expressive when we performed because the cameraman would be walking around and you may end up on the jumbotron. Sure enough, a cameraman stopped directly in front of me. I was beaming, upping my game...until I realized everyone around me had made a quarter turn and I had not! Oops!
Despite being a second off, I quickly resumed correct choreography. It was over so quickly and they were rushing us off the stage. They actually yelled, "Let's go, ladies. Start jogging. Speed it up." Here are my group of ladies right after the performance.
I was a little bummed that we didn't even watch any of the game! It's not that I love basketball; I just don't like wasting the money on a ticket when I didn't even sit down or watch anything. Our driver wanted to go out for drinks instead, so I went with the majority. We stayed for a few hours chatting and slowly sipping our beer. (Side note: I got carded for the first time in years.) Again, it was fun to be part of a group and participate in something outside of my usual routines.
It was a very entertaining night and a memorable experience. I am thankful my instructor invited me to participate and I feel closer to my Zumba friends after the practices and time together.