“And step and KICK and turn and NOD!” It’s almost 8:30 p.m., but your well-meaning spring musical director—high school teacher by day, Broadway choreographer by night—has not yet finished putting the cast of Bye Bye Birdie through its paces. There are only three rehearsals left before opening night, and people, we’re just not seeing any energy!
What could be better than starring in a high school musical production? Or—for the extremely talented who will later go on to sing at their classmates’ first weddings—being a featured soloist in a show choir?
I’m glad you asked, because there is something better—starring in an elementary school or church group production that has a meaning. For example, as a sixth-grader, I participated in a musical about “just saying no” for D.A.R.E.—Drug Abuse Resistance Education. I also had the great pleasure of starring in musicals with sassy-yet-meaningful Christian themes for church camp. When you’re giving jazz hands or a kick-ball-change, it’s best to give it either in service to your community or in service to God.
I am proud to be living proof of the long-term effectiveness of earnest amateur choreography—to this day, I am a churchgoer who says no to drugs. Thank you, adults who got involved—and thanks to shaky “risers” and backing vocals tapes!
If you don’t have an “official” platform or venue to display your talent and unleash your inner Paula Abdul (a.k.a. Our Lady of Amateur Choreographers), grab a sibling or a few cousins, wrangle together an unwilling group of adult relatives, and get the show on the road. All you need for these types of impromptu performances are a mini-boom box, a Janet Jackson cassette, a matching uniform of jeans and black T-shirts (possibly a neon pink scrunchie), and, of course, lots of heart.
This guy’s selling what I’m buying:
Many thanks to my dear friend S for sending me this video, and the resulting inspiration.