Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dance Festival

I haven't posted much about dance festival, because it's one of those things that is too big to wrap my brain around. It's 3500+ kids doing 6 or 8 dances. Lots of practices. Lots of mistakes. Lots of funny things, but difficult to condense into a few blog posts.

So, let me share a little bit of what happened last Saturday.

For months, the kids have been practicing here, learning the routines in groups of 50-100, depending on the dance. This week, it was time for them to get together with everyone else dancing their same dance and coordinating all of the formations and such. We did this in Riverside, on a high school field. And it was hot.

They spent the first 2 and 1/2 hours standing on Astroturf trying to figure out the intro dance, and were eventually released to sit with their groups under the shade for some cooling down. As the kids filtered back in, it was clear that Evan was not in good shape. Several of the kids let me know he had a headache, his stomach hurt, and he was looking bad. His arms also hurt from having immunizations the day before. So, we plopped him on the cool grass, soaked his clothes with cold water, and made him start drinking up. Within about an hour, he still had a headache, but his skin was much cooler to the touch and he seemed to be perking back up.

And then he went to the bathroom, which was a couple of blocks away, through the sun.

I found him, slumped against the bathroom wall, out in the sun, pale as a ghost and shaking. I took him to the first aid tent, where they had buckets of ice water, and rags to soak him with.

The first thing they did was stripped him of as much clothing as possible, so there Evan sat, 1500 girls passing by, flexing his abs for all he was worth. Which was good. It told me we didn't need an ambulance or anything. . .

But I did feel it necessary to tell him that if he really wanted to impress the ladies, he should probably think about peeling the matching Tweety Bird band aids off each arm.

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