Tryouts are officially over, and they were an absolute BLAST! I was ecstatic to finally meet the girls and dance with them. I am beyond thrilled with how well tryouts went and with the amazing girls who showed up and gave it 100%. The energy in the room was so high and contagious. I was able to meet new girls and learn wonderful new things about the girls I had already had the chance to meet.
The first day of tryouts is, arguably, the harder day. The girls showed up in their dance clothes with nerves written all over their faces. They handed in their Tryout Packets and were given numbers that they were asked to pin to their shirts. They warmed themselves up and then the fun began! We started with some technical exercises including pirouettes, kicks, leaps, single stags, and splits. You can imagine how excited they were about the splits portion! After the technical fun, we moved onto the dance section of the tryout. The girls were taught six counts of eight of jazz choreography. They picked up the choreography quickly and we were able to have a lot of extra time fine tuning bits and pieces of the dance. I had so much fun dancing with the girls and just having fun. While they may have been super nervous at the beginning, the girls were definitely able to loosen up and started to have fun just dancing together.
Once we were done, I sent the girls home with practice videos and a lot of positivity! This is always the scariest part for me as the coach because I never know if they are actually going to show up the second day! Luckily, they all showed up with smiles on their faces and five times the amount of confidence than they had the first day. I don't know what they all had for breakfast that Wednesday morning, but they showed up confident and comfortable, and it was truly beautiful to see.
When the girls arrived, they got their numbers back on and gathered in the gym to warm up together. They then had twenty minutes to practice all together while the judges arrived and were briefed on what I was wanting them to look for and judge on. After the twenty minutes were up, the girls were brought back into the dance room and the I got to introduce the three judges to them. That is when I saw that spark of confidence they arrived with falter just a bit. I reassured them as best as I could, and we asked them to all dance the choreographed combo together for the judges. And just like that, their personalities came back and they SOLD that dance. It was amazing! I saw huge smiles and enthusiastic facials that I had not seen the day before. I was to the roof with excitement!!!
After they danced all together, we sent them back in the gym, and they were brought into the dance room in groups of three or four. They were asked to showcase the technical exercises that were taught on day one - yes, including their splits! They were then asked to perform the choreography twice in their group. The judges scored them on judging sheets, and the girls were released to go back to the gym. After all of the groups had gone, the crazy judges that I hired then wanted callbacks! The girls were definitely not expecting that. They were regrouped into different groups and were asked to dance the choreography again. Callbacks may have thrown them a bit, but they didn't show it in their performances.
After they had all finished dancing, we brought them into the dance room, thanked them, and sent them on their way! I told the girls that I would be posting the list in the morning before school; however, I had other plans in store. Once the girls had gone home, I got to work on picking our 2022-2023 Aerielle's Drill Team! Once I had the team selected, I put together a little gift and mapped out a route that would take me to every single girl's house. I laid a poster and a gift on every door step, and I then "door-bell-ditched" their houses! Oh, it was so much fun. I did my best to stay behind a little bit to see their surprised and happy faces, and it was well worth them seeing me drive off as fast as I could, haha!
Tryouts could not have gone better. Every single girl surprised and impressed me. This team is everything I could have hoped for my first ALA Drill Team as a coach. I cannot wait to continue to get to know these girls and help guide them into becoming as beautiful of dancers as they are as people.