During February half-term all dance groups, ranging from the Lower Fourth to the Upper Sixth, went to Disneyland Paris after auditioning to perform on one of the main stages.
After fears of not being to go ahead with the trip due to bad weather, we were able to set off as planned and make it to France smoothly. After a long day of travelling, and fighting over what Disney films to watch on the coach, we finally arrived at the Explores Hotel and sooner than later were all fast asleep.
The next day started with an early morning. The companies were escorted around the exclusive pathways of Disney into one of their huge dance studios where we completed a musical theatre type workshop. There was a chance post-workshop to ask Jerôme, our lovely coach, any questions we had in relation to working/performing at Disneyland. Jerome led a fast-paced but very enjoyable workshop teaching the girls one of the stage dances they use for the Disneyland characters, Max and Goofy. This gave us courage and inspiration to perform our own dances to the best of our ability whilst enjoying every moment of the opportunity and applying our newly strengthened performance skills to engage the audience. All dancers thoroughly appreciated the support of the Disney crew members, the teachers and especially the audience – we even received an email from an audience member congratulating us on our professional performance stating that we are an asset to our country. The day concluded with everyone running wildly around the park and queuing for as many rides as possible before eating in Annett’s diner and eventually returning exhausted to our hotel rooms after such a thrilling day.
The final day was mainly exploring Disneyland’s other parks and yet again queuing for many rides. In the afternoon the companies regrouped and watched the parade together with the castle in sight, creating truly magical memories. After another filling dinner (and singing along loudly to ‘Sweet Caroline’), and chance to go around the shops, our trip finished with watching the fireworks and animations. This was a moving moment for the Upper Sixth as tears were shed in the realisation they were leaving so soon after the trip.
A long night of delayed travelling led to a coach full of tired and grumpy children. However, their enthusiasm returned on arrival back at school, eager to tell their family and friends about their incredible trip and unforgettable memories made.
Words by Victoria Whitehead U6CR and Skye Weaver U6CH