Lessons From an Ogre: Lesson Two

Lessons From an Ogre: Lesson Two

Confidence. An ogre gave me confidence.

When I learned that there was going to be dancing in Shrek: The Musical I freaked out.

I’m not much of a dancer. Just ask my sister who is a dancer and has, on many occasions, invited me to her dance classes. My sister would say that I was born with two left feet. Any dance where I have to learn the steps is just not my cup of tea. The only dance I like is free dance where I can march to my own tune.

When our director announced that there was going to be some dancing I froze. When she said that the choreography was going to be simple I thought okay. How simple? I can’t even dance the hula where the steps are two steps to the right and two steps to the left. Either my feet are going but my hands are not. Or my hands are moving but my feet are not.

What’s a girl to do?

The first song we had to learn the dance to is called “Story of My Life”. Our director, who is also our choreographer, created a routine that was designed to tell our stories. When we sing “the party’s off the hook” we raise our arms as if we are giving up on society. When we sing “I’ve always dreamed I’d get a happy ending”, we’d stomp across the stage because we are mad at the guards who are pushing us around.

Simple I thought. I can do that.

After a few practice sessions I got the routine down.

It was the next two songs and dance routines that got me nervous. We had to dance the rumba to the reprise of the “Story of My Life” and the Charleston to “The Goodbye Song”. There is a brief break between the two songs and we have to be able to switch quickly.

The rumba and the Charleston. These were two routines that had steps I needed to learn.

I’m in trouble.

I took every chance I got to practice. If fellow cast members were practicing I’d join in. If our director scheduled extra rehearsals just for these two songs, I’d be there. If I could find a YouTube tutorial I’d watch and practice.

I didn’t want to look like an idiot on stage.

After a few practice sessions I finally got the routines down. I was gaining confidence. I was so confident that I pumped my fist in the air after mastering the Charleston and I screamed “YEAH!”

Lesson two. Be confident.

The final routine I had to master was to the song “Freak Flag” which happens to be my favorite song and dance routine of the entire show. At the end of the song we have to pump our flags – or in my case a wand – in the air with one hand while placing our other hand on our hip, our feet apart, and our bodies facing the audience. I call it the Power Stance.

Yes. More power and confidence to me. I never thought I could learn something from an ogre.


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