The Dancing Chorus

I love musical comedy.

I know a lot of people are annoyed by spontaneous song and dance numbers, but that’s my favorite part of a show. I saw my first musical at a community theater when I was eight years old. My sister and I sang the songs from Camelot nonstop…

“If ever I would leave you, it wouldn’t be in springtime…”

Until we saw Showboat a few weeks later at the same theater.

“Fish gotta swim and birds gotta fly…”

When I was in high school, I started auditioning so I could join in the fun. I was in the cast of the spring musical at my school every year and in summer, I tried out for the dancing chorus in local community theater productions. I loved the long rehearsals learning songs, dances, and blocking on a bare stage. Then came dress rehearsals with imaginative sets and colorful costumes and finally, the thrill of performing for an audience.

42nd Street cast performing"We're in the Money" at Starlight Theatre, Rock Valley College

I’ve lost track of the friends I made during those summer productions, but I can still see many of them so clearly. Liz, Melinda, Jennie, Doug, Sarah, Erika,  Brad, Julie, Andreas, Marlene, Ginger, Melissa… By day, we were ordinary, but we were transformed into larger than life characters on stage.

Last weekend, I had the chance to see a fabulous performance of 42nd Street at The Coronado Playhouse.

It wasn’t a big production but the dancers were so talented and the small cast filled the theater with those songs I love. I had to force myself to sit still and not sing along; I wanted so badly to be up on stage with them. On the way home from the theater, my husband bet me that I’d be auditioning for a show again one of these days.

I wonder.

Would I have to lie about my age? Would my hip and my foot hold up to the hours of rehearsal and four performances a week? Would I be able to handle the late nights and still wake up early to walk Lola and write?

Probably not. It’s a nice dream, though. But maybe one of these days, I’ll forget caution and try out for the dancing chorus again.


Filed under Dance, Musical Comedy, tap dance, Theater, Writing

36 responses to “The Dancing Chorus

  1. Do it Shary!! You’d be fabulous, I just know it. And I would bring a whole cheering section for you.

  2. Anita Carol Smith

    Remember my 93 yr old neighbor who just set a world bicycling record? His motto is “get up, get out, get going.”. He inspires me.
    How many wonderful talents don’t get shared because we say, maybe I’m too tall, too old, too young, too heavy or too thin, too…?
    I hope I can sit it the front row and cheer when you appear in a local musical!

    Doo wop. Doo wop.

  3. One of these days…. how about today? Have absolutely faith in you, and would absolutely be there opening night to cheer you on.

  4. Go for it Shary! I love enthuisiasm and your wonderful post makes me feel like dancing!

  5. Crystal

    Shary!! Do it!! 🙂

  6. We wish we knew how to dance. If you can do it you should! Go for after a dream.
    -Bella and DiDi

  7. I love musical comedy too, if I could only sing and dance…… absolutely go for it and don’t forget to blog about it.

  8. You are all so amazingly supportive – you make me feel like I could do anything. If only the casting director would agree! 🙂

  9. I love musicals, too. You can’t feel sad tap dancing or when enjoying a musical. Glad to know you’ve been able to do both. One of my favorites is “State Fair.” So many wonderful, joyous songs, including the title song, It’s a Grand Night for Singing, and Might as Well be Spring, my favorite. 😉

  10. Go for it!! When I was in high school I use to babysit for a family several weeknights because the parents (who had “regular” jobs) were always in a play in one community theater production or another. They loved it!

    • It was easy to handle the rehearsal schedule when I was in college. Of course it would be harder now, but it’s inspiring to hear about others who’ve made it work.

      Loved your Mom’s guest post on following your passion.

  11. Shary, that sounds like such fun! I hope you do it — or start singing and dancing around the house until you feel like you’ll burst if you DON’T do it! Break a leg… 🙂

    • I have been singing a lot lately… belting out those songs. My voice definitely isn’t what it once was, but it’s still very satisfying to sing out loud.

  12. Go for it! My person loves musicals too. She might even drive over to SD to see you in it.

  13. –Why a dream?
    I DO hope you audition… then write a blog about it :)) !!!!

  14. How fun to hear about that part of your life. You should give it one more fling, Shary—but don’t wait too long! LOL. I love musical theater, especially when I know all the songs. I loved the live performance of Mama Mia. I’ve only seen the movie of South Pacific, but I would love to see the live production. Those are some of my favorite songs.

    • You’re so right that I don’t have time to delay. 🙂 It might already be too late for my voice.

      South Pacific does have fabulous songs! I hope you get a chance to see it on stage.

  15. Do it! We are cheering you on and one should always chase their dream!!!

    Your cheering friends,
    The Collies and Chuck 🙂

  16. You should do it, Shary! You are a great dancer and I’d love to see you on stage.

  17. I think you should! I was never in musical theater (except backstage — props — which I loved, too!) but both my kids were in high school. And they absolutely loved it. If you’re in a production, let us know and we’ll make a blog road trip …what fun!

  18. Elizabeth Dobbs

    My fabulous Grandma Niny (Grace) was in little theater when I was a child. I still have her publicity shots of plays that she was in – Arsnic and Old Lace – was one. I was in every play and musical that I could be in when I was in High School. I love, and sing along to, all the old show tunes from the 50s and 60s. Magic, pure and simple, to participate in the theater. Hope I get to come see you in a production.

    • I hope so, too. And now that we both know how much we like to sing, everyone at book group is in trouble. We might start doing production numbers in the middle of the meeting!

  19. Shary, it’s never too late to relive your dream! You’ve still got what it takes to give it one more whirl! Imagine the gorgeous posts and photos your going back on stage would produce! 🙂 And the applause? And the public cheering you? And the work out? If that’s not enough incentive, I don’t know what is! 🙂

  20. I’m with the others. Do it! If it’s a dream and something in your blood, you should pursue it for sure. You only live this life once! I love musicals; it’s been so long since we’ve seen one. Sadly, my school cut all of its music funding when I was in ninth grade, and let go THE most talented music teacher (due to seniority. Her replacement was an old geezer with NO personality) . I had always dreamed of being in plays/musicals, too, but when the budget was cut, so were all productions. Then when I went to college, I didn’t muster up the nerve to try any acting until my senior year. I LOVED it. And at that point, it felt too late because I had only one semester left. At least you have experience under your belt.

    • It’s hard to work up the nerve to audition, isn’t it. I think I can still manage that… but I’m absolutely not sure if I have the stamina for rehearsals and performances. It’s fun to think about, though.

  21. My grumpy dad isn’t much into dancing, says he doesn’t see the point of throwing yourself around for no apparent reason. Personally, I think life is all about doing what makes you feel good – plus that picture of all those legs? I could see myself going along a chorus line and widdling up each of them…hehehehe

    • You’re naughty, Bones. 🙂

      You’re right, though, that life is about doing what you love. I do love to dance and that’s reason enough to go throwing myself around in class a few times a week. 😉

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