It didn’t matter that none of us had any formal training. It didn’t matter that my freestyle felt rather Carlton-Banks-esque. It didn’t even matter that I’ve got no junk in the trunk or that I desperately need to be taught how to Dougie. There was so much cheering and clapping and sweating that being embarrassed wasn’t even an option. We left the audition, miming the choreography on the walk home and making plans to go to all the dance group auditions come spring. We’d gotten our “Future Story” and embraced some swag.
Then, I got a callback. No joke, no lie. I, Chelsea Jones, from a boring, preppy, stereotypical town in Connecticut, got a callback. And things got serious. My “Future Story” was getting good, and was maybe even more important than just a story. I wanted to be in BAC. I spent three hours that Friday practicing the choreography with a friend in the basement of Witherspoon and another five hours tossing in my bed, nerves keeping me up until much too late. Suddenly, BAC, and hip-hop in general, mattered to me. I’d never had the confidence to pop, lock and drop it anywhere but in my own room with the doors locked and shades pulled. But a callback was like a semi-stamp of approval. It was an acknowledgment of some untapped swag. I have to admit this self-conscious, non-dancer, stands-in-the-corner-at-Blackbox-Theater girl was pretty pleased.
Then, I didn’t get in. I’m not shocked by any means. Let me repeat, have you seen those guys dance?! But, I can promise I’ll be back in the spring. And probably the next fall. And most likely the spring after that. Auditions were that much fun. Maybe I’ll never get in and, honestly, that’s okay. I didn’t go with the expectation of being in BAC, or even getting a callback. I went because I didn’t have a good enough reason not to go.
“Future Stories” happen when you step outside of your comfort zone. The experiences of which you become proud and the memories you want to share with people are almost never about the time you did that thing you’ve always done. Auditioning for BAC was a bounding leap over the walls of my comfort zone and probably the best experience I’ve had this year. And it’s only week one. Consider this a PSA from someone who did it wrong the first time around. Do things you didn’t do before college! I spent freshman year trying out for (and getting rejected from, I might add) the exact same activities I did in high school. I didn’t even consider options outside the familiar. Put simply, I was stupid. Not only should you try new things simply for the experience, irrespective of the outcome, but you could also discover a talent you never even knew you had. This is not to say that I’ve suddenly realized my swag potential, bought myself a snapback and started breakdancing on Nassau Street for extra cash. But I certainly have discovered something that I enjoy, regardless of whether I’m any good. I got my story and one of those cliche introspective looks that sneak up on us every now and then. Now, I’m on to the next new thing, the next “Future Story” — until spring tryouts that is. So heads up, Club Fencing, I might be coming for you next.
Chelsea Jones is a sophomore from Ridgefield, Conn. She can be reached at email@example.com.