Team hopes to dance with Mickey
While most kids are dyeing eggs or feasting on chocolate bunnies over Easter break, 29 students will be rocking out with Mickey Mouse and friends at Walt Disney World.
These students have been given the opportunity to be a part of Disney Magic Music Days, where they are set to perform in one of the Disney parks.
“They make a big announcement over the speakers. It’s like you’re a rock star,” said guidance counselor and choreographer for the team Larry Hensley.
The performers will be treated as Disney Staff the day of their performance. Their training includes what they can and cannot say to people in the park, and the opportunity to go backstage to other performances and events happening at the park.
The only catch: they aren’t allowed to bring cameras.
According to Hensley, the team must pass “Disney Standards” before they can perform. This includes filling out a lengthy contract and sending in a professionally recorded video of the four numbers to be performed by October 30. Finally, a picture must be sent in of a front and back view of the costumes worn by a male and female performer.
Director of Development Laura Lang designed the costumes, which have not yet arrived. She chose black pants for the men and black skirts for the women, worn with brightly colored polos.
Director of Admissions Kimberly Brueggeman and Hensley chose and choreographed four numbers, which include “I’ve Got Rhythm” from Crazy For You, “Put on a Happy Face” from Bye Bye Birdie, and ”We Go Together” from Grease.
These songs were picked because they have already been performed in play productions, which helps to ease the stress of learning completely new material. For example, junior Ryan Selvy will be performing the same role that he did in Bye Bye Birdie, when he sings “Put on a Happy Face.”
However, not all of the students participating have as much experience as Selvy. In the summer of 2008, Hensley presented the opportunity to go to Disney to anyone who wanted to join.
According to Hensley, the standard routine is to hold auditions and then choose students based on skill level. In this particular case, students signed up at random. Hensley said, “We have some students who have never performed before on stage.”
Senior Kate LoPresti is one of those students. LoPresti admitted it was a little scary at first, but is now a lot of fun. “This is my senior year, and I wanted to try something different,” said LoPresti.
Any student was able to go if they signed up and gave the down-payment by July 1, 2009. “I didn’t even think we were going to get 15,” said Hensley, who was surprised by the amount of interest in Disney Magic Music Days, and set a maximum number of 30 people.
To fit in students’ schedules, practices are one to two times a week for three hours. On days that school is not in session, practices are six hours.
Junior Rachel Dinsmore said, “We are really excited and working really hard because we are not accepted yet, but we still have fun.”
The group has about one month to perfect their dances, so every practice requires major focus and effort from each performer.
“The only nerve-racking part is that we haven’t been accepted yet,” said Hensley.
Even if the team is not approved by Disney, the team will still go to Disney as the trip has already been paid for.
Haley Lynch can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.