North America | United States of America (USA) | The Mid-Atlantic states | New York State | New York City – Wednesday
Ouch. Oh, oh, ouch! Even my toenails hurt. There is a reason why there is an age out limit. I think it is so that the members dont end up killing themselves trying when their bodies have reached a point that it can no longer keep up. Part of the pain is being out of conditioning, but part of the pain is also that maybe, just maybe, bodies do get old. On the floor this morning, I look OK. I attract a lot less attention than the very young members (there are high school freshman, probably all of fourteen years old, here) who are still working on mastering the physical techniques of the moves. These members ended up on the back two rows, the rows with much less of a chance to end up on TV. Actually, doing the routine doesnt really hurt. It is the other moves, like trying to get out of bed, and walking slowly, that hurt. By keeping up with the work, and having the presence, I have kept a spot on the second row. Very far to the left; I suspect it is a bad spot for TV, but for me, I just want to be here, be a part, be a member, and march.
Today is filled with another five or six hours of practice. Along with the ninety second routine for TV, we must also learn a routine for marching the two mile parade route. Ten hours, over two days, is a lot of practice. The practices are being run by Cadets staff, and it greatly echoes what a corps weekend feels like. If the high school members knew that, maybe some of those members would be more likely to audition and try out for a corps.
After lunch, they resolved one of the great traumas. Everyone sat down with their pole. The members who needed to find their pole were then free to roam around and try to find theirs. I contently curled up with my pole for a little cuddling and a nap, knowing I was back with the one who brung me. Lots of members had brought poles from their high school, and they needed to return them to their schools. Many matches were made, while a few, just a few, never found their loved ones again.
After practice, we have an hour to clean up the site, and ourselves, and get on the buses to go out to New York City. After an almost two hour bus ride, (welcome to New York City traffic!) we made it to the Radio City Music Hall. We were then let loose to find dinner in the neighborhood, and then we conglomerated to see the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. And it was spectacular! It started with 3-D animation that required everyone to put on the 3-D glasses that came in the programs. Then lots of singing, dancing, and high kicking by the world famous Rockettes. This show had everything! The orchestra pit is on a car that can drive it to the front or back, and when the orchestra is not lowered in the pit, the pit can be raised to stage level with an ice rink and ice skaters in it! If that is not enough for you, there were even six dancing midgets (dwarves? I was too far away to tell) playing the roles of Santas elves. The show ended, as it has since the 1933, with a telling of the birth of Christ, and a live Nativity scene. I was thankful that they take this chance to share part of the life of Christ with the thousands of people who are there each evening. By the number of flashbulbs going off, many others were touched as well.
Back on the buses, and then off to bed. Tomorrow promises to be a long day