Tuesday, July 5, 2016

SC vacation days 7 & 8 - large groups & Best of the Best

According the Applause Talent, Saturday was the Pink-Out.  The original founder passed away a few years ago from breast cancer, so this is their nod to her.  Terina had these awesome shirts made up for us. 
Front & Back

It made it so easy to find everyone from the studio!

So contemporary was the first routine of the day.  We all know it's not the girls' favorite dance, but it was the best we'd ever seen the perform it!  And we told Terina so.  She looked kind of smug and said she knew why they did it so well.  And showed us this picture.  They did a group prayer before going on stage!  Angel said it wasn't a pep talk, it was straight up praying to Jesus (I wish I could convey exactly HOW she said that - it was hilarious!) but it's still very heart-warming. 
(from DOS FB page)

Lynn and I spend WAY too long steaming those damn satin skirts - so it was nice to see at least one kid (mine!) making an attempt to not wrinkle it!

Injection of the Soul - Platinum

Mony Mony - Double Platinum and probably 11th place.  They only did the top 10 and we're pretty sure there were only 11 routines in the division. 
Clique - Double Platinum & 9th place

This is the one we'd had the most hope for moving on to the Best of the Best on Sunday.  But since only the top 4 finishers moved on, nope.  But when they did awards, they issued VIP passes to several routines that the judges felt worthy of competing again.  How they announced these and the top 3 places, they would do a drumroll and then start playing the song, before actually announcing it.  So that's what happened with the very last VIP pass!  Our girls were on stage, not even paying attention anymore when they announced the last recipient and Clique started playing!  Angel said they were all sitting around, doing the dance and singing before they realized what was going on! 
Angel asked me more than once if I thought they had a chance to actually place in Best of the Best.  I told her they had just as good a chance as anyone else.  And that although they only placed 9th, the judges were clearly impressed by them enough to want to see them move on! 

I thought it was messed up that they judged lines (for example, our 21 girls in hiphop, 3 minutes of music) against productions (57 people / 8 minutes of music / elaborate sets & props) How can you even do that??  They should have been separate.  And I really hope they questioned the age of some of the solos.  I think of our Jaden & little Ashley - who are 10.  They're exactly what you think a 10 year old girl should look like.  This one girl came out, she was easily 1 1/2 heads taller than anyone other 10 year old with a gorgeous hourglass figure.  Seriously?  I bet she was at least 16. 

So anyhooo.  

Saturday night, one of the teachers was interested in going on a haunted jail tour and asked if anyone else wanted to go.  She ended up with somewhere like 22 girls and 10 adults.  The tour group opened up an extra tour, just for us!
Do NOT get in the way of those girls latched on to each other - they didn't let go for anything!!!

This jail (this is only part of it) was in use from 1802 - 1939.  And of course during the Civil War, it was massively overcrowded and the conditions were atrocious.  No running water or plumbing, etc. 

The first room had this lovely interrogation device that Misses Angela & Haili are demonstrating.  In this position, a cat-o-nine-tails would be used.
The next room would have had a series of about 8x10 foot cages.  The guide told us about this lady who had been part of a gang of highway robbers.  They'd use her as bait for stagecoaches or whatever to stop,then they'd kill everyone & take all their goods.  She didn't think they'd ever arrest a beautiful woman, but she was wrong.  The guide said she'd been seen in that very room, near the windows.  

This was crazy, that as I went along I'd touch the walls and stuff at random.  When we went in that room I wandered over near the windows and as I touched the window frame, I noticed it was cooler (no a/c in the place so I chalked it up to being by the window) and I could feel something.  Like a tingle almost.  I really didn't think anything of it, until the guide told us that story!     

And if I'd known I was freaking the girls out....I would have REALLY freaked them out!  They'd seen me over by the windows, but didn't know I'd moved.  So they could see a figure in the dark room in a corner where nobody else had been, but didn't know it was me.  Angel recognized me, but the others couldn't.  Oh man!  Especially since so many of the girls were having a hard time keeping their feet still.  Flipflops on gritty stone floor are really loud & annoying!

The next room had been the infirmary and the guide told us about the guy who'd been a doctor there and some of the things he'd done and would have seen.  They now used this room for restoration of plaster pieces and such, so it was fully lit and THIS was the room that Angel stood right behind me, the front of her arm touching the back of mine.   

The last room had been the warden's office.  We went in and the guide shut the door and turned off his flashlight.  It was so dark & still & hot in there that the air felt thick.  Towards the end of the story about this warden, the guide intentionally dropped his flashlight, causing all these girls to start screaming!  And I know it was intentional, because once they stopped, he giggled and said he couldn't resist doing that!    

We went outside after that and since we'd technically gone after the last tour of the night, the guide stood around and chatted with the girls for a while before we all went back to the hotel. 

I think by now, the togetherness between all these girls was wearing on them.  I saw Angel & Sam heading toward the car, so I hit the unlock button so they could get in.  Didn't think any more of it.  Another girl came up to me and tattled that they had gotten an attitude, blah blah blah.  Hello?  After all these years of classes with Angel and you're just now seeing her attitude?  And Sam is her little shadow Mini-Me, so 'tude times two!  I guess there'd been a lot of drama that I didn't see so a lot of the girls were ticked at each other.  A lot stemmed from people not being still while the guide talked, and words had been said. 

Which carried over onto Sunday at Best of the Best.  So it's a good thing that they're supposed to be thugs during that dance so nobody had to paste on fake pretty smiles & force facials.   It's a shame they don't get more of a break, but summer classes start up Wednesday!  

They really brought it on stage and did phenomenal, but the group that won clearly should have been in the higher skill level, instead of the middle one.  Their routine was basically Cirque Du Soleil.  They also got the highest scoring routine of the entire comp with that, too.  

Some awards were done (and none too soon - my sinuses were killing me and I had a pounding headache!!)  Angel wanted to go to the beach again, so we stopped at CVS to get sinus medicine and then met up with a few people at the beach that she still liked and hung out for a while.  Then we'd made plans to go on a candlelight ghost walk thru downtown Charleston and didn't tell anyone else.  A lot of people left straight from the venue after awards, but we didn't leave until Monday. 

We were disappointed, since I'd called and the voicemail said to leave my name & contact number and the number in my party and they'd call back to confirm our reservation for the 9pm tour.  I never heard back, so I called again on the way back from the beach.  This time it said the 9pm tour was full.  The pamphlet I had and the website both said to meet at 8:45pm on the steps to the US Customs House - clearly not a place you could miss!  But nobody else ever showed up!!  We hung out until 9:15 and never saw anyone else.   I did see 4 or 5 people standing in a group on the corner for a while, but then they left.  But the only people I saw in front of the Customs House was a couple who'd stopped to eat some food, and they left when they finished.   Well crap.  Glad I hadn't paid for it already!
So we drove around Charleston for a bit, stopped and looked out over the water and at some gorgeous old houses, then went back to the hotel and relaxed and got packed up so we could leave easily in the morning.  

To be continued...one more time!

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