Sophie Marshall is a dancer from Armadale Australia. She studies Accounting and Japanese at Curtin University in Perth, and she is currently an Arts Administration (Dance) Intern in Florence, Italy. This is the first in a series about her Dancing in 100 Different Places project. You can also follow her on Instagram @lipbalmiscool
Before I left for my Performing Arts Abroad experience in Italy, I was dared to dance in 100 different places over the course of my travels. A challenge? Most definitely! But as nervous as I was, I prepared myself for the inevitable awkwardness of having to bust out my moves in the middle of crowds of unsuspecting tourists. I choreographed a routine, bought myself a camera and a tripod so I could film myself, and practised playing around with video editing software – I was as ready as I’d ever be. With determination and excitement (and maybe with a dash of fear and nervousness) I boarded the plane that would take me on the adventure of a lifetime.
My first stop was England, and before flying to Florence I spent a day exploring the beautiful city of London. After managing to get myself lost an embarrassing number of times, it was finally time for my first public performance. St. Paul’s Cathedral was not particularly busy, but convincing myself to actually get up and dance was a mission and a half. I set up the camera, played with the angles, moved the camera again and played with the angles some more – the procrastination techniques went on and on (and on).
A solid twenty minutes later I told myself to pull myself together and just do it. So I put on my music, dragged myself into position, busted out some moves and tried to ignore all the weird looks I was getting from the people walking past. Feeling incredibly awkward and embarrassed, I went back to my camera with the relief of having got the first one out of the way. Only to discover that I had forgotten to press record.
I almost cried – the thought of having to go through the ordeal AGAIN was awful and I seriously considered just not bothering. But I persevered. It took me another 15 minutes to psyche myself up again, and only after realising that everyone who had seen me the first time had most likely moved on by now, did I get up, PRESS RECORD, and perform for the second time. I totally nailed it – it actually recorded this time!
Throughout the rest of the day I moved from place to place scouting for possible video locations (and of course getting incredibly lost on multiple occasions). I’d hoped that after getting the first one out of the way it would be easy for me to do the rest of them, but I was wrong. If anything, it got harder – as the day progressed the touristy areas became overrun with tourists and crowds, meaning that my ‘audiences’ were getting bigger and bigger each time! I guess I’m just going to have to suck it up and get used to embarrassing myself in public.
Exhausted, but feeling very accomplished with my 4 videos, I headed back to my accommodation to eat, rest and get ready for my flight to Florence.
Four down, ninety-six to go! Bring it on.