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Day 2: Music And Stuff

Day 2 is when classes begin. This is the part where everyone discovers how much they love and/or hate dancing, acting, and singing. I did not have the chance to upload this post on Day 2 itself, so here it is now.

I sat in on several classes so I could check out what the kids did today. For them, it's a chance to learn a new skill or strengthen an existing one. For me, it's a chance to pretend I am still a musical theatre kid learning theatre stuff and not a grownup graphic designer.

Both the preteen and teen groups are split into two more groups. This determines what classes the kids will go to each day and when. Then, after lunch, the class groups come back together for rehearsal.

Preteens "go bananas" during an acting class warmup.

In the acting class I witnessed, director Maya Bhatnagar played several games with her preteens, then explained how these games helped with skills like eye contact, memorization, and diction. From this exercise, I learned that nobody, not even English majors like me, can pronounce the word "benevolent."

Nick Lenz teaches tap class.

I stopped by a few dance classes to see kids doing moves more impressive than I can do. The kids will learn bits of jazz, modern, and tap throughout these classes. Whether trained dancers or just "movers" like me, they learn how to perform under pressure during a dance audition, even if they can't do all the steps.

"Always be 'push, push, push, push,' so that when I'm like 'two at a time,' you're like 'oh, I got this,'" choreographer Renata Marino told her dancers.

Chris McAllister teaches teens about vocal health.

In voice classes, teens and preteens alike learn about healthy singing habits and how best to exercise and maintain their voices. This involves learning about the vocal chords (which are less chords than rubber bands), throat, diaphragm, and any other parts of the body that contribute to singing properly. They will also sing stuff.

These are all typical of Stage Right classes and are consistent from camp to camp. But one thing about Day 2 was different from most camps.

Teens demonstrate their instrumental skills.

Because Godspell will involve student musicians, teens who played instruments brought them in to demonstrate for their production team and cast. I was thrilled to see what they could do. Those who did not bring in instruments or videos of themselves playing at home were asked to rate their skill level on a scale of 1 to 10. I can't wait to see how these skills will come into play in Godspell.

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