Apologies for being so quiet on here: I always seem to be on the go at the moment :/
Firstly, my course is going well. To begin with it was tough with a minimum of 14 hours of dance/body conditioning every week but I have gotten into the routine now and I certainly should have a beach body by the end of the year. In terms of dance classes, we have ballet, jazz, commercial and tap. Some of the jazz classes are technical and some are musical theatre based in which we learn routines from shows.
On top of dance, we have various classes in acting and singing. So far we have covered a bit of Stanislavsky, Shakespeare, acting through song (a BIG component) and acting for TV among others.
Aside from me there are only 4 people on the course which means that no hiding can take place: you will get caught if you haven't done your work. However, it is above all a positive thing because of the vast amount of time the teachers have to spend with each of us giving individual feedback.
I would be lying if I said I have not improved in all the different areas. However, I have noticed particular improvement in terms of core body strength, flexibility and stamina. I have never been much of a dancer and only started dancing upon the realisation that if musical theatre was what I want to do, I will have to learn to dance decently. The course has made me rather enjoy dance and because my fitness level is higher, my body doesn't wear out as quickly and I am able to enjoy the exercise more. In addition, my technique and ability to remember routines have improved which makes everything more fun.
My confidence has gone up a lot as well. It is not a big deal for me to get up and sing in front of the class anymore. I used to have a problem with my voice locking up as soon as I had an audience but as I have learned to accept that I can sing and produce a fairly good sound, it has made me relax significantly.
So far we have covered a lot of West Side Story: acted out some scenes, practiced a Puerto Rican accent, sung Somewhere, worked on the dance routine to Cool and at the moment we are putting together a whole musical theatre number to America. We have also danced to Grease and In the Heights among others.
On a Friday morning we do work on individual production numbers. Each of us gets to choose a song from a musical which is then choreographed so that everyone can be in it. You get to sing and act your own song and everyone else become the ensemble. I am doing So Much Better from Legally Blonde for that. Gives me a reason to learn to sing and dance in heels as well. I bought a gorgeous pair of tan-coloured character shoes with 2 3/4" (~7cm) heel which are also incredibly comfortable and I love wearing them. I must post a picture on here soon. Or maybe I should do a video blog...(?)
Over the Christmas holidays I promise to catch up on reviews of shows and such on here so stay tuned!