This afternoon i'm privileged to be adjudicating a festival of dance for schools. I know that in classrooms around our area, there will be trepidation, excitement, and a little bit of sheer terror. The costumes are checked, the coach is booked, the dance is ready and now all that's left is to perform. Those moments of sheer adrenaline are incredible, a minute or two of feeling so totally alive. You can't worry about mistakes you might make, you have to trust your body and that your muscles have learnt the movements, you have to let the music take you through sequences that are both familiar and alien, comfortable and sometimes downright painful. It doesn't matter how many times you perform a routine, the only performance that really matters is now, and for that few minutes the only company you have is yourself. Your fellow dancers and the sheer exhilaration that comes from making yourself vulnerable to your audience. Win or lose succeed or fail, there is always joy in the dance.
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