I can't begin to describe how excited we all were to be heading out to ProDance again this year. More so as there were seven of us making the trip and the venue was in Miami of all places.! Yippee..! Can't wait to meet Tubbs and Crockett from Miami Vice.! Or maybe we'll get an extra part on CSI.
Carole Anne our manager, Carrie, Karen, Nicole and myself from the main squad and Lisa and Michelle from the support squad were like kids in a toy store as we embarked on our journey. I think we all had developed an American accent before we were even through customs at Glasgow Airport much to the annoyance of the attendant checking us through. The in-flight movie was Miss Congeniality 2. I'd already seen it twice.!! I wanted my own wee personal telly like I had the last year when we went to Las Vegas.! But.. NO... a big contraption of a telly to share with all the common people.! Still, I laughed out LOUD... at the film. Everyone in the plane turned and looked at me.! Well it's funny.!
We had a few days in Miami to try and accustom ourselves to the climate and time difference. We mostly lounged at the pool, ate out at different restaurants like the Hard Rock Cafe, went to a few nightclubs and went to South Beach trying in vain to colour our milk-bottle skin before the course started. Thinking we had taken a slight colour and feeling quite good about it the Americans started to arrive.......... and.......... were bronzed goddesses..! OK so it was out with the rubber gloves and slap on the St. Tropez. Lying at the pool one day, Carrie overheard some of the American girls say that they had been on 'weight watch' before coming to ProDance.! As Carrie walked around holding her non-existent tummy in..... I walked around trying to force mine out..!! Lisa informed the group she was never eating again and the rest of the girls ordered salads for lunch. Me, I ordered chips, two buttered rolls, a bottle of orange juice and a chocolate fudge cake..! WHAT..?? I'm on weight watch too..!
It was Sunday afternoon 'Intro Day' which got under way with registration first. There was a buzz of excitement as all the squads like the Philadelphia 76ers, Orlando Magic, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons etc.. etc.. were arriving and checking in. Carole Anne headed off to the directors meeting and I helped the girls decide what classes to go to. Everyone then met up in the main auditorium where one member from each squad had to stand up and introduce themselves and their squad. GULP..!! The finger was pointed in my direction, my duty as vice-captain was to introduce our squad. I was almost crying with nerves. The American girls are so confident and I think I sounded like a wee mouse when it was my turn to introduce the Rockettes. I kept reminding myself to speak s l o w l y or no-one would understand me.!
What a fright I got when everyone started cheering because we had come all the way from Scotland. Awh.. that was really nice. Next up were the choreographers, names like Cris Judd, Napoleon & Tabitha D'uomo and Brian Friedman wow, these choreographers have worked with the like of Justin Timberlake, J-Lo, Britney and Beyoncé to name just a few! Each choreographer demonstrated a section of the routine they would be teaching at that point, we all frantically checked what class we had booked into. Needless to say there were a few changes made. I ended up keeping all my classes the same. I was panicking anyway so it wouldn't matter where I ended up. Once everyone was satisfied with their classes we all headed to one of the function suites. Here, all the squads were taught a routine by John Peters to a 'ProDance' theme track. The routine was very funky and we all really enjoyed it. Mind you my legs were not working properly there's a tiny part of the routine that my legs just would not do.! I'm sure you'll spot it at the games!
So it was dinner downstairs in the bar that night. Our first 'main day' of the dance course was in the morning. After dinner we all headed up to our rooms. I was sharing with Carole Anne and Michelle. ....and........ I was in charge of the TV. Law and Order and CSI back-to-back on USA Channel...... I LOVE IT.. Why don't we have this many episodes back home.!
My room-mates were only allowed to speak at the adverts.... if they required to speak during said programmes they had to raise their hands. At one point Michelle was crawling past the TV on her hands and knees so as not to obscure my view. Well done Michelle! That girl has got initiative. HA HA..! I think they were both about to throw me over the balcony.! Still, I think I've seen two full series of Law and Order and CSI.
ProDance Course Day One
Breakfast was at 7am on Monday morning. As well as breakfast, there was a speaker and video footage of Tina Landon's choreography. Tina Landon has worked with the likes of Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and Ricky Martin. We were to learn two routines from Tina later in the week. Which were both amazing. The breakfast room was jam-packed by the time we managed to get there. I was so tired and when we eventually got to the food, there was only ham croissants left. :o( I don't eat meat..!!! SO my breakfast was a glass of orange juice. By 8am everyone was in the main suite warming up.
Another problem for me. I have never been to a ballet class in my life (which I really regret) and the warm up consisted of ballet positions and pliés. Not only was it full of positions and names I have never heard of, but it was being done at top speed.! I don't think any of my muscles felt stretched at all. I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. Warm-up over and it was on to your first chosen class of the day.
My first class was John Peters'. I loved his routines last year and was really excited about being in his class albeit very nervous. The routine was to a track called Beverly Hills, it was really fast and funky. As John started to teach the routine I put myself to the back of the room. No major problems here, everyone in the class was really nice, I loved the dance and John was a great teacher. Great! Before I knew it time was up and we were to move onto our second class. I passed Lisa and Nicole in the hall and it was as if we'd not seen each other for years.. a fast paced conversation followed about our first class and it was zoom.. onto the next.
Second class was with Mina Ortega, one half of a twin. A fast hip-hoppy number which I did struggle with at first. Although after I constantly went over the routine outside my room on the 14th floor hallway I eventually got it. Last class of the day and myself and Michelle were together.. Hurray.! A friend in my class. I was feeling so lonely with being on my own in my first two routines. The last class was a rock 'n' roll type class. The biggest laugh I had all day. The routine was easy enough, it was just really fast and if you did make a mistake it was hard to catch up again. As I have been taught all rock 'n' roll styles I didn't have a problem with the footwork. The music was Jailhouse Rock and the entire room could hear Michelle sing!
SO it was morning over and out for lunch. After eating our lunch we all re-capped our routines in our hallway. Each one of us in our wee corner all muttering away to ourselves and frantically going over our dance steps.... meanwhile the pool area was packed with cheerleaders sunbathing.! Can you now try and imagine Carrie's face..!! She was gutted.!
Our afternoon was much the same as the morning. Back to your first class and then work round to the last. Each choreographer added more sections to their dance and by the end of the first day, two of my routines were finished. Just had to 'remember' them now. Easier said than done. Everyone then gathered in the main room again where a surprise awaited us. A performance from some Miami club dancers. Two girls and more importantly three great looking guys... whooo hoo.. ! After their demonstration, we all had to learn a similar dance to the Gasolina track. It's hard to describe the style.. just really bodies popping in and out and up and down. It was really funny. I can definitely see us doing that in Cube on a Friday night.
After a long and exhausting day we all headed back to our hotel rooms. It's traditional on the first night of ProDance that we all head out to a night club and enjoy some food and drinks and get to know each other. None of us were worth a button. All the girls, Karen, Nicole, Carrie, Lisa, Michelle, Carole Anne and I were just ready to sleep. We just could not attempt to go. Well, I did actually attempt to go I looked out my dress and then hung it back up. Besides Law and Order was on. KIDDING..!! All we could muster up was the strength to go for dinner, even at that I barely ate anything and was back upstairs while the rest of the girls finished their dinner.
ProDance Course Day Two
We headed down for breakfast just after 7am. Different scene from yesterday. The room was very quiet, late night must have been had by all at the club. I was glad, it meant there was plenty cereal and fruit. Yippie..!
A quiet day in the warm-up room too, however the same ballet warm up which I really struggled with. Still I stood behind Carole Anne and attempted to do the best I could knowing fine well I must have looked ridiculous. Never mind eh. God loves a trier..! ! I must recap briefly. Our motto for the week at ProDance was 'God Loves a Trier' and when we said it we had this cheesy American accent.! It was really funny........ ha ha......... sorry...... obviously one of those ones where you just had to be there.. OK, moving on.. Where was I..? Oh yes, warm-up over and it was back to our same classes again. The same set-up as day one. Morning and afternoon exactly the same. Everyone was really enjoying their classes, some slightly stressed as their routines were not finished. For example Carole Anne and Karen were in a class together. A dance involving chairs and a lot of throwing themselves about which was really stressing them out. Mainly because by day two the routine was still not finished and as well as having to give up their lunch break to go back to the class. They also had to go back down later that night until the routine was finished.
JESO.! Meanwhile Michelle and I were crashing into the walls in the hallway outside our room trying to do this crazy lift thing we had in the rock 'n' roll class. I couldn't lift Michelle as 1, she didn't help herself and 2, because she was OBSESSED with singing Jailhouse Rock and I couldn't move for laughing.! I made her promise NOT to do it on video day or I would really muck up the routine. Wait and see if she did or not...
ProDance Course Day Three Video Day.! (argh)
Waking up on 'video day' and I felt sick with nerves. I was worried about the routines and didn't want to mess them up. I think everyone else was the same. We all went down for breakfast around 7:30am and I forced myself to eat something. Bad idea.! I skipped the ballet warm-up as I felt ill and didn't want stressed-out with pliés and the likes. Video Day.... argh..! We all headed to the auditorium we were performing in. All the squads were seated on the floor area and for the first time, spectators were allowed to come and watch too. Like last year we danced the routines in order, all the A routines first, then B then C's. Each routine was walked through first then performed. As the routines got underway we enjoyed watching each group. It was like watchin' a show.! The routines looked great and the abilities of some of the girls was just amazing. Eventually it was my A routine, my John Peters' dance. My heart was pounding with nerves. As we walked the routine through without the music my nerves calmed, however it totally drains your energy. We then had to walk the routine through a second time... and.... did I not pop up on the wrong count..! DOH..! After walking the routine the second time I thought I'd never find the energy to dance. Music on and we had to perform. I LOVED it.. the routine went really well and I was so glad I didn't forget anything.. well I hope..! After we finished I wanted to go again. My first class was definitely my favourite one. So I was raring to go by then and started to get a bit hyper.
Watching the rest of the girls performing their routines was brilliant. I honestly think all the Rockettes did so well. I loved Nicole's These Boots are Made for Walking routine, she looked great. Carole Anne and Karen's chair routine was fantastic and all the hard work their group put in certainly paid off. Lisa was right at home with her hip-hop routines and Carrie just looked so good and well funky in her group. Well Michelle didn't keep her promise. The rock 'n' roll one was our last routine and I hadn't been nervous about it at all. However this was the one that I made most mistakes in. I almost missed the double pirouette, didn't jump to my feet in the floor section and almost swung Michelle off her feet in our we lift. AND... Michelle started singing Jailhouse Rock at the top of her voice. We were both in hysterics with laughter and I was going to kill Michelle..! I'll blame her for my mistakes. At the end of the performances we all congratulated each other as we felt it had been a lot of hard work, but we pulled it off.
We got some photos with the choreographers like John Peters, the Ortega twins who tell us they are definitely coming to Scotland so we've to take them out on the town..! That'll be some night.! More photos with Jeanine the Orlando Magic Director, the Chicago Bulls, the 76ers and many more. Gradually everyone left the auditorium each one with a memorable and enjoyable past few days at ProDance to take with them back home.
I must say I really really enjoyed ProDance this year, so much more than when it was in Las Vegas last year. I loved all the classes and the routines and I'm so glad I was given the opportunity to go. Which just leaves me to say a big thanks to Carole Anne from myself and all of the girls.
Look out for our new routines when the season starts back next month. Look forward to seeing you all there.
Kat x x
Our trip didn't end there. We all then flew from Miami to New York for four days. Read all about our trip to the Big Apple here >