The Road to the World Tap Championships 2011 (Part 4)

The Road to the World Tap Championships 2011 (Part 4)

The thoughts of Jordan Mills, part of the England Team as he prepares, rehearses and performs…Part 4 (Read Part 3, Part 2 & Part 1)

Tap boot camp

So, here it is, the week of craziness, the week of laughs, the week of tap. The Tap Attack Residential was the week when choreography for the World Champs began, and also when the team truly became a team – as before now we’d only met on Sundays, so it was interesting living with these guys for a week.
Before any tapping could start we had to get in and get set up, so we instantly saw who was – and who wasn’t – willing to do some work! We then found out who we’d be spending a week with in our rooms, got settled in, and then were ready to do what we were there to do – tap!
The daily routine was tiring but exciting all the same as new routines were being choreographed that we’d use at Worlds: up at 6am, breakfast, warm up and drills, training for new routines, lunch, more training, dinner, (not much) free time, bed at midnight. Before the week, people had said that it’s exhausting and it only gets harder as the week goes on, but I didn’t see it as that. For me, it was a good challenge and good practice for what I want to do for a career. Although at times it was frustrating and annoying when my brain just failed to work, the fact that we were learning all of this for an international event made it all worthwhile, and so did the time when training ended.

R&R

Most nights were spent at the accommodation: playing pool, watching films, playing on the Wii and just relaxing. But one night we went out for a meal and went bowling. It was so much fun, and was when I really got to know the guys that I’d been rehearsing with, and how good or bad they were at bowling. After playing a pretty poor game of bowling, we spilled into the arcade where we got even more competitive and after spending the rest of our money we headed back to our beds to rest before another insanely busy day.

A thought for my poor tap shoes please

Waking up on the Thursday morning seemed to be more difficult than it had been before, and unfortunately the day would be no less exhausting. Surprisingly, I hadn’t got any foot injuries, and it seemed as my feet had done a lot of damage to my shoes, which by Thursday had split down the middle meaning that the only thing holding them together was the thin leather. But it was alright as I didn’t need them too much that day as we were starting to set the formation – the strict routine involving 20 dancers that focused on positions and formations of the dance more than other categories. So, as the weather was good, we put on our trainers and headed out to the garden behind the venue to set positions and work out the dreaded ‘crossover’.
During Thursday, we spent the entire afternoon outside setting positions for the routine and then spent the evening relaxing.

Friday

Then the final day came – Friday: the day that all the parents came in and watched what we’d been doing for the past five days. Performing to everyone now felt much easier and exciting compared to the day that I nervously walked into auditions. Then, after we’d all performed, it was time to do what none of us wanted to do – pack up and say bye. It’s always rubbish saying bye to people that you’ve worked with in that environment for a whole week, but we had plenty more weekly training sessions before the ultimate event of the year for the Tap Attack Youth Company…

funding

… Leading up to the World Championships, I began raising money to fund my trip to Germany, and did this through two main events: a table sale and a cabaret. The table sale was organised at the dance school where I train, and brought a lot of people together who generously supported me. The second event – and probably the most stressful thing I have done to date – was my cabaret that I directed and choreographed with the help of a lot of people. It was an amazing event and it was ultimately rewarding for me as I learnt a lot in the way of choreography and teaching as well as raising over £1,000 for my trip to Worlds.

Now there was only one thing left to do – bring back the medals!…

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One thought on “The Road to the World Tap Championships 2011 (Part 4)

  1. Pingback: The Road to the World Tap Championships 2011 (Part 5)

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