My Olympic Odyssey (Part 8): Ceremony audition 2

Sunday November 20 2011

“You have been selected,” says the head honcho of the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games, “because you all did your own thing during the first audition. You’re now all auditioning for the main dance in the Olympic Games opening ceremony.”


The only reason I did my own thing in the first audition is because I hadn’t heard them giving direction to do specific movements and the reason I’ve been chatting to professional dancers all morning suddenly becomes only too clear. I was in over my head. Not only that but only four days before I’d had a cortisone pain-killing injection in my spine so I was, how you say, a little uncomfortable. There was nothing to do but smile and clap gleefully, bouncing up and down like those audition stalwarts around me.

Arriving at the Three Mills Studio – straight on through the graffiti laden tunnel, turn left past the rotting mattress and hold your nose through the gas leak – I stood in the queue next to the guy with three giant purple spikes jutting out of his black slicked down hair. A professional dancer (natch) he’d just arrived having been out dancing on a podium at a nightclub all night, in stark contrast to yours truly going to bed early, eating carbohydrates for dinner and having bananas in her bag, tennis star style, as snacks for throughout the day.

As we stood on our specific places on the grid, my spiky friend next to me was pointed out by the organiser. “You with the spiky hair. You’re a good point of reference for everyone else when we ask you to get back to your grid positions so you’d better make sure you know where your position is!” Makes life easy for me I thought.

After learning three different routines and then stringing them together to make a full routine – I’m sworn to secrecy about what we did, which I stuck to religiously by only telling my boyfriend, sister and great aunty Nora  – I was baffled but grinned along nevertheless. The more we went through the routines the more I forgot how it even started. It’s possible this is where being a professional dancer is an advantage as those around me perfectly executed the routines adding their own flourishes for extra ooomph.

Feeling rather deflated but having nevertheless enjoyed my Flashdance plus 200 people moment I’m advised by friends and family, “You did really well to get where you did”, “You should be proud of yourself”, “Good for you”, it was rather a case of I’m not out of this yet. I just need to get in and I can show them I can do it. I know I can. I just need to get in.

Find out what happens next in well, “around four or five days”.

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