Gabee ThomasMs. LesterAdvanced Grammar and Composition5 March 2012 Senior Project Speech What would your reaction be to a doctor telling you that you needed a pacemaker? I wasshocked when my doctor told me. I have a complete AV block, which cause my heart to beatslower than the average rate. How would you feel if your doctor told you that your heart surgerywas unsuccessful? I was devastated when I found out that I would need a second heart surgeryin eighth grade. The pacemaker was not doing its job to make my heart beat normally. Howabout a second unsuccessful surgery, what would you do then? I was very nervous for my life. Iwas unsure if I was going to make it out of the third surgery. I thought to myself, what if this onedoesn’t work, then what? Because of all of these surgeries I had to put my outside life on hold.I spent about a week in the hospital for each surgery and I was not allowed to do what I lovemost, Dance. I have been dancing since I was three and ever since my first dance class, that is all Ihave ever wanted to do. In sixth grade I joined chorus because I used to sing all the time. Icontinued to take chorus all the way through high school. When I came to Creekview there was agroup called Show Choir that I was interested in because it had to do with singing. Not only didit include singing but it included dancing too! I was thrilled that I found a group or an extra-curricular activity that included both of my favorite activities. After participating for a year itfailed. There was no Show Choir group for my Sophmore and Junior year. So I decided to take astep and talk to Ms. Wallace, the choral director here at Creekview, and see if I could bring showchoir back and possibly be the choreographer. She loved the idea and told me that she would
gladly be my facilitator for my Senior Project. So I decided for my Senior Project, that I wouldput together a Christmas Show to perform at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as a thank you forhelping me become a healthy and successful young lady. I eventually want to open up my owndance studio and I thought that being a choreographer for show choir could help me prepare formy studio. My research paper was about the steps I need to take in order for me to open up my owndance studio and it stated tips on how to become a successful director. I chose this topic becausedance is my passion. I want to be able to teach and share a passion for dance to other people.Also this experience will teach me how to communicate with others, teach choreography that isnot too difficult but challenging to the dancers, and prepare me for teaching in my dance studio.If I want to have my own dance studio some day, I need to be able to communicate with thedancers, and be able to choreograph dance material that everyone in the group can handle.I am now going to share with you the steps I had to take in order to make my Christmas show asuccess. My Project Facilitator was Ms. Susan Wallace. When I figured out what I wanted to dofor my Senior Project, there were certain qualities that I was looking for in my facilitator. Ineeded someone who had experience in the performance field. My facilitator for my seniorproject was Susan Wallace. Ms. Wallace is currently my choir teacher and director ofCreekview High School Show choir. Since she was in show choir in middle and high school,graduated from Shorter College, and has been teaching chorus for over six years, I thought shewould be a great project facilitator. I work with Ms. Wallace on a daily basis outside of showchoir and it was convenient for the both of us, to team up and put together the Creekview High
School Show choir for 2011-2012. Now I am going to show you in order, the steps I had to takein order to make my Christmas show a success. I had to take quite a few steps in order to make this show a success so here are the stepsin order from start to finish. The first step I took in this process was calling an audition foranyone who was interested in performing in show choir. I choreographed a short, detailedcombination for all of the contestants to perform for me. This audition process helped me todecide how many people I wanted in the group, who I wanted in the group and I could startbrainstorming songs that might be performed based on the audition. I selected 14 students from Creekview to perform in my Christmas show for 2011. Iposted a cast list and set up a meeting for all of the participants so we could talk about expense,supplies, rehearsal schedule and when the performances were going to be. I choreographed onpiece to “Party Rock Anthem” as a featured piece in a fall Chorus Concert. This helped me toget an idea of how the kids performed on stage and helped me to judge whether thechoreography needed to be simpler or more complex for the future. This performance was alsohelpful to the cast members so they could prepare for a bigger performance for Christmas. After the Fall Concert I started to pick out music for Christmas. I ended up picking “WeWish You A Merry Christmas,” “The Sleigh,” “All I Want For Christmas is You,” “Let there BePeace on Earth,” “Christmas Cannon,” and “ The Grinch.” Not all of the songs had reallyintricate dancing because then the audience would not be able to hear the students singing. Iblocked a couple of the songs and some had intricate dancing with a soloist. After the songs were selected Ms. Wallace and I started working separately with thestudents. Some days I would work with the girls on choreography while the boys worked withMs. Wallace on vocals, and vice versa. After three months of on and off rehearsals, the show
choir had a week of dress rehearsal and cleaning before we went to the hospital. At this point Ineeded to decide what everyone was going to wear so they all looked somewhat uniform. I alsoneeded to distribute parent consent forms to be on live Television. Eleven Alive News found outthat one of the patients from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, me, was bringing her group toperform for the patients and the staff. I planned a meeting with the students the day before the performance so we could workout transportation details. My mom drove five of the members including me and Ms. Wallacedrove the rest. We planned to meet at the school at eleven forty five am to warm up and getready to leave. We left the school at twelve and arrived at one to set up and work with channeleleven. Channel Eleven ended up putting my story on the air that night and featured all of thestudents I used in my show. I was thrilled by the success of my show and my appearance on liveTelevision. It was not easy to make this show success. I ran into some obstacles and challengesalong the way but in the long run they were worth it and they taught me a lot. When I first started choreographing some of the students were having some troublegrasping each movement. Some students couldn’t master the move, others could not hear thetiming with the music so that was tough to get through. I solved this issue by going over thechoreography slower and doing it multiple times with the music so I could create musclememory in the students’ bodies. Because all of the students had trouble with choreography, theamount of time it took to finish a song was a lot longer than what it should have been. Thisproblem gave me two ways two outcomes of solution; one, make the choreographer simpler so ittakes less time to learn; and two, teach harder choreography and take more rehearsal time to doit. I chose option one in this case. If the students could not grasp the concept of movement bythe rehearsal after the day they learned it, I simplified the movement. Another problem I ran into
was costumes. I was unsure of what everyone was going to wear. I did not even think aboutcostumes until last minute because I was trying to clean up the choreography. I decided to talkto the students and see if we could form a costume out of clothes people had in their closets.This problem showed me that I need to think about everything that goes into a show early andnot just the music and choreography. There needs to be a look in order for people to want towatch the performance. Having problems and conflicts really taught me a lot about what toexpect for my dance studio later on. This Christmas show was an unbelievable success and I had an awesome time workingwith the students and Ms. Wallace. This was my first successful show and definitely won’t bemy last. I have learned so much about myself through this project. I have learned that I need toworry about all of the details that go into forming a show. The costume is just as important as thedancers and singers wearing it. I also have figured out who I am as a dancer. I have found aunique style that I stick to when I am choreographing and it suits me and the people I taught verywell. I learned from this experience that advertisement is a big part of the entertainment world.If you want to be seen make yourself known. Because the professional dance world is very hardto become successful in, I have my life planned out in step by step order. I plan to go to college and graduate with a degree in Cardiac Sonography. Once Igraduate I can apply for a job and start working in a Hospital. On the side, when I’m notworking, I can be auditioning for shows, a cruise ship, a professional dance team or evenBroadway. Once I have earned enough money from my day job, and have had enoughexperience as a performer, I can then start planning for the opening of my new dance studio.When I graduate from Creekview I will be majoring at Georgia Northwestern College in CardiacSonography. Thank you so much for your time. Do you have any questions?