Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
Standing in the wings, my heart beats like a drum in my chest. The swell of noise laps at me like waves at shore and I find myself quietly shaking in apprehension. My own fear is thick on my tongue as I wait for the cue to enter the stage.
This is to be the only and final night to perform.
The only show, therefore perfection is expected. Both by me and the audience. As I wait to go on, I grasp hands with my family, drawing strength and feeling the connection that has brought me here to this floor, with these people. As we enter the stage, our secrecy unveiled in our inky movements, the audience applauds and welcomes us to the stage and I find myself at the start of another Rhythm N’ Motion show.
The first time I heard of Rhythm N’ Motion (RnM) was my freshman year when I went to the fall show. It was so packed that I had to kneel on the floor without a seat for the entirety of the show along with a carpet of people. The dancers seemed to exude a sense of happiness, completeness, and fun. I wanted to get out of my seat and join them on stage. The dance pieces made me excited, contemplative, energized and emotional. The range and depth of the dancers and the pieces showcased convinced me that RnM was somewhere I wanted to be.
When I found myself at the audition the next semester I was intimidated by the lengthy process and the effortless dancers around me. As I waited later for news, I found I had not made it. I didn’t know how badly I wanted it until I faced my failure. Watching the show again in the spring semester I told myself not to give up and promised myself I would go to the fall auditions again.
The next fall I once again went through the lengthy audition process, with renewed vigor and confidence in myself and my worth as a dancer. When I received the call that confirmed my entry into RnM, I was ecstatic and elated. Since my entry in Fall 2012 I have never regretted my choice to join.
Every semester we have our Newbie class, and my own Newbie class was a special collection of individuals. RnM tradition asks that the Newbie class collaboratively choreograph their own piece, a useful and meaningful entry to the a group. It forced my Newbie class to bond and grow as we navigated rehearsals in the Bi-Co and Swat (as our group is Tri-Co based), creating movements and attempting to showcase our individual talents. Not to mention, the Newbie class acted as a base family for the larger family RnM.
Every semester as we begin our whole season, we sit and answer the question, “What are you looking for in RnM this year?” My answers have been acceptance, growth, happiness and fun. But now, at the end of my time at Swarthmore and RnM, my answer is culmination. RnM has given me greater confidence in myself, a stronger love of dance, a family and community who loves dance just as much as I do.
As the Senior Class enters the stage this weekend, I know we all give thanks to the multitudes of people who have supported us, believed in us, and grown with us. My experience in RnM has been so meaningful because it has incorporated the three campuses of Swarthmore, Haverford and Bryn Mawr. I have had the experience to literally dance my heart out. This weekend I hope to give it away to all those who come to see us dance.
Rhythm n’ Motion is holding its semesterly show this weekend on Saturday, April 11th at 8:00pm in LPAC. Doors open at 7:30pm.