Butterflies before the Show

Rachel Young

Preparations for all the performances at the cabaret were extensive and time consuming, and students worked hard at rehearsals every week to get every move perfect. Every performance is student choreographed and organized by students, and all choreographers are responsible for finding their own performers.
For some groups such as the BOMB Squad, preparations began as early as a year ago. For others, such as my own group, the Vietnamese Fan Dance, rehearsals started in February and were once a week for two hours until a couple of weeks before the show, when they increased to twice a week for the same amount of time.
As a naive freshman, I knew little about cabaret other than what I had seen at the previous year’s performance as a prospective student. When Minh Tam Dao, or Tam as her friends know her, told me that she was holding auditions for her dance, I decided to go to the first practice on a whim.
I am not Vietnamese. In fact, I have blonde hair, and I have never been able to dance a day in my life. But, I figured what the heck! Before I knew it, I was waiting nervously in the wings of the chapel in a beautiful Vietnamese traditional dress, waiting to go onstage to perform.
I could hear the sub-continental dance group doing their ‘Dandiya’ dance to M.I.A.’s “Boyz,” and with the sound of the catchy music and their wooden sticks keeping time with the beat, my nervous excitement increased. I had the usual butterflies, such as “what if I trip and fall?” but I also wanted to do my best to represent Vietnam, and to do justice to all of the hard work my group, and every group, had put in to the show.
Whether or not our performance succeeded in doing so is for the audience to decide, but I came offstage with the feeling that I had been a part of something truly representative of the dream of global unity.