The Lord willing, The King's Praise Ballet will present their end-of-the-year recital, "A Sacrifice of Praise," on Saturday, May 1st. It's still more than 3 months away, but preparations have been in full swing since the end of December.
There have been songs to find - 14 to be exact. After listening to almost all of my CDs and searching online, I was able to find songs that fit each class and work together as a whole.
Next, comes the task of choreographing them all. It's fun, but time-consuming work. The best way for me is to listen to the songs over and over as I work on other things, getting fully familiar with each song. I then edit/shorten the song if need be, so that the girls aren't onstage for too long and are able to learn the dance without too much repetitive music. 4 minutes is usually the maximum length, 3 minutes the goal, and 2 minutes if they're really small. Generally, the younger the girls, the shorter the song. :)
Then, as I've been doing this past month, I take time to focus on each song, listening to it as a whole, then coming up with movements phrase-by-phrase. While I listen to the music the weeks before choreographing, I nearly always get visual pictures of what different parts could look like. This can be dangerous, though, for sometimes inspiration comes at the most random of times - like the time I was driving to a friend's house and missed my exit on the highway because my head was full of dance moves for a particular song. *ahem*
This time, it's been fun to think more outside of the box, and come up with different patterns and ways of moving. I try to make each dance different, which can be difficult when you're choreographing many songs at once and working with beginning dancers. But, God is so awesome to give much inspiration and creativity! So far, I have 7 songs completed and 5 partially done. I write down the choreography for each song in my notebook, to keep track of them all.
I've already started teaching the girls their dances, which is always a hard period. There never seems to be enough time in class to do barre work, stretching, combinations, and learn a dance! But, I try to balance it out, even if we don't accomplish it all each week. It's always difficult to translate what I see in my head into the the hearts and bodies of my students, but it is exciting to see things begin to take shape.
Another big part of preparing for a presentation is finding the costumes. It's very hard to find modest, beautiful costumes, especially for older girls. But, by God's grace I found some lovely ones, though some will need layering to make them work. It was a long search, and I joined 5 costume companies in the process, but I finally found affordable, tasteful options. Measurements are being taken this week, and the orders should be placed next week!
The props this year have been fun to find and create as well. I've tried to make each class have something different, so some will have billows and large flags, others crowns, some long, wide ribbons, others smaller, many-colored ribbons, and multi-colored flags and pastel fabric drapes round out the selection. The search takes a long time - and the fabric department at Hobby Lobby has come to recognize me as I go in use a 40% off coupon nearly every time I'm in the area - but it is enjoyable.
There's still much to do, but though it can be tiring and overwhelming at times, I am enjoying the preparations. It takes sacrifices, but through these sacrifices, I hope to bring God praise!
Please pray that the preparations will continue to go well, and that God will be glorified through it all.