By Lorrie Baclk ~ All Star Dance Industries Mentorship Committee Member
Do you look forward to loading up your car with some awesome people and hitting the open road? I certainly do…I love to pack my big black suburban (affectionately known as Black Beauty) and hit the road! I scream “Let the journey begin!” as I haul tail out of the city limits. Most of my trips involve my husband, coaching staff and an occasional student or two. Along the way, we will experience laughter, fatigue, stress, peace, all the while looking forward to our destination…..which once a year is our national championship. During this trip, we will need to find a tree or shrub or friend willing to hold up a jacket for you on the side of the road…ya…you know why….we will get a flat….we will get so tired that we hang our head out the window and look more like dogs than humans….. we will dump an ice cream cone in our seat buddies shoe and laugh until we cry. And, when we get within minutes of our hotel…our dang nav system will think it will be hilarious to take us on a 45 minute journey…yes, of course we can SEE the sign to our hotel….we just can’t FIND the entrance.
Have you ever noticed that the journey you take your team on to get them ready for this competition has similarities with your road trip? At first the competition journey begins with excitement, the team cannot wait to get the new choreography. Team work is going well and one of your kids comes in with bad news, her parents are separating…you have to find that one friend/team member that would “hold up a jacket for you” and never let you hurt alone. Next thing you know… you have fatigue and boredom sitting in because the coach really just doesn’t get what “one more time” really means. Now, you’re clipping along at 75 mph “boom!” The dreaded injury…might not even be from dance but from one of the other three (or 53) activities the dancer is in. You have to rework the routine and “fix” the hole in the spacing. After this is done…you’re back on the road. Now the fatigue is setting in…as a coach, you walk into practice one night and can’t even remember what year it is because you have dealt with so many problems that day that your brain can’t fathom that you are still in the same year as the one you woke up in. All of a sudden a student says something that makes you giggle so hard (not because it’s hilarious but because you haven’t slept in so long that your brain thinks it’s funny.) The team follows your lead and before you know it everyone is having a much needed belly laugh and practice is over. Finally, you have done your very best and you take your team to competition. As you are getting ready for warm up and waiting for that one student to show up you get a call from a very frustrated and panicked parent asking you (while you are in a city that you are VERY unfamiliar with) “I’m on the corner of 8th Street and Maple Avenue….can you tell me how to get to the competition?” (Guess my nav system isn’t the only one with a sense of humor)
Yes, I do love my road trips….I love the ones I take in Black Beauty and I love the ones I take with my teams. And ya know what? I can’t remember our placements at the end of most of these journeys…..but I NEVER forget the memories that made the journey unforgettable!