I only danced with Dartmouth High School's Indoor Percussion for one season, and the only regret I have is not joining earlier. The entirety of the experience is something that I would choose to relive over and over again, and I am thankful to have had the opportunity to be a part of a something that made me love being pushed out of my comfort zone. Throughout the season I learned countless lessons that have proven helpful to me in various other situations, giving me just another reason to love this program.
1. Thanking those who helped you to reach your ultimate goal.
From writing drill to sewing and re-sewing costumes, the show would never have come together without the effort of countless parents, alumni and professionals. These people gave up hours upon hours of their time to help the program, and the show would certainly not have gone on without them. Indoor percussion has certainly taught me the importance of making those who put forth extensive amounts of effort and time to see me thrive feel appreciated.
2. How to make the best out of every situation.
Every season has its unique challenges all the way from trying to sleep on the aisle of a bus as people make animal noises around you to a flat tire halfway through a 15 hour bus ride. Despite how difficult these situations could be, there was always some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. Whether it was feeling like I achieved a long awaited goal or realizing I gained a super weird and dysfunctional family, I learned to search for the positive in every situation.
3. The importance of time management.
Between school, a job, practice and late Saturday nights spent at shows, I was forced to buckle down and manage my time effectively. In college, the skill I was almost forced into learning has helped me immensely. I may have had to stay up until 3 a.m. once or twice to learn my lesson, but the ability to plan my time efficiently has saved me from multiple too-late nights at the library.
4. Think about the big picture.
If I had a dime for every time I heard "think big picture," I would definitely have had a large chunk of change by the end of the season. However, this phrase slowly began to take on an even bigger meaning: each decision you make and each thing you do has potential to drastically make a change, or mean absolutely nothing in the larger scheme of things, and it is important to focus on how your choices will further impact the bigger picture.
5. Positivity will make you, and negativity will break you.
In an activity where the group's attitude determines the outcome of the show, the importance of positivity makes its way into an entirely new light. Once one person in any situation slowly slips into negativity, it can sabotage even a huge group of people. Sometimes it takes a High School Musical jam session, or wearing a tie dye cat shirt, but being the positive person in any situation can often alter the experience for everyone, or even inspire others to do the same.
6. Being early is on time.
Setting up a mat, rolling props across the hall and stretching, all things that have to be done before the allotted practice start time. Although I was often rushing to leave work or my house a half hour early, getting ready for everything early kind of became a habit that has proven useful time and time again.
7. The value of commitment.
Not only was time commitment required, but as was an emotional commitment. There were undoubtedly times where it became hard to push through every practice and performance, but a lot of what I gained, and a lot of what i miss, has come from the intense commitment. You are given the opportunity to escape your everyday stress and enjoy focusing on something on a much greater scale.