Overall, I felt that our finished parade turned out great, and that all of our hard work paided off in the end. The main theme of our parade was "go green", but the specific focus was on water conservation. We tried to incorporate a different orixa for each individual dance. For our parade dance, we wanted to show the good and bad sides of water conservation. The bad side represented the water being wasted while doing various activities, and the good side represented the various ways to use less water. The different activities that we used in are parade to show the different sides of using water were: showering, using water bottles, cleaning the driveway, watering the lawn with sprinklers, and washing the car. I was the good shower, and my dance showed someone who was taking a quick shower, whereas the bad shower was showing someone who takes long showers or baths which use more water. The sprinklers showed good sprinklers that just water the grass, and bad sprinklers that water the grass along with the sidewalk and other places that are not supposed to get wet. The good car wash washed the car only using the water needed, where the bad car wash is washing the car but using water to do other things that would use more water than needed. We also addressed the water used to clean the driveway which symbolized the bad driveway, in which the good driveway was someone who cleaned the driveway with a broom. The bad water bottle symbolized someone drinking from a water bottle and not finishing the whole bottle, but throwing the water bottle away wasting water in general. The good water bottle was someone who uses a reusable water bottle. Each person got fifteen seconds to do a dance to represent their side. For my dance I incorporated some gestures from Oshun to show water. My dance was really fast pace because I had to be showing someone who is taking a fast shower, therefore saving water. The music was one of the big challenges we had because we started off with eleven different songs. Since each person had something different to dance about, along with the fact that some peoples dances were more slow and peaceful, while others dance were more upbeat and fast paced everybody needed their own song to best present their dance. The rehearsal for the parade on Tuesday, caught us by surprise because we were going to have someone carrying a boom box controlling the music. Since, we weren’t using our own person to control the music; we encountered some problems because everybody had their own song which meant that we had special directions for how each person was going to transition. During our rehearsal we also learned that our parade was over the time limit, but we figured it was because we had to keep stopping to adjust the music. The person who was in charge of the music, along with other people condensed the music into one song which made the time shorter and the control easier. They also added a transition song in between each main song so everyone could be aware that there was going to be a change in dancers. The music really came together in the end, and the person in charge of the music did a really good job because the music was a difficult task. We also had problems coming up with a walk that we could all be in synced throughout the whole dance. We started off with an eight count, where we would do spins and make wave like movements with are hands, but we had problems staying together. The problem mostly came from people spinning at different times, and doing the wave movements at different times. We noticed during the rehearsal that we were really out of sync with each other, so we decided to change the whole walk. The walk that we ended up with for the final was a swim like motion with a clap at the end, so if everybody clapped at the same time we knew that we had the same beat. We felt that walk would be better for us because it was something that was simple and most importantly everyone could stay together. To add to our walk, we also had some chants about water to bring our walk more to life. One of the chants we had was “keep keep keep it up, keep that water level up”. One of my responsibilities was to make a water reserve level clock for one of my group members to wear. The colors that were on the water reserve level clock were green being the best, yellow and orange in between, and red being the worst. With California’s level being on the brink of red, we used the chant to keep the water level up to show how we need to get the water level to go up towards green. Since green and red were the primary colors, the good people wore green and the bad people wore red. Every person had their own special detail on each of their shirts, but the green and red shirts gave us unity. The narrators for the parade wore blue shirts, so the three main colors were blue, green, and red. The whole experience was great because our end parade came out really good despite the many obstacles we faced. I actually realized more that the way I use water would fall under the bad side, so I have to improve the way I use water. I felt that I personally gained a little more confidence because in the beginning I was overly shy about dancing in front of people. By the time of the final parade, I think I was not as self conscious about doing my dance. I think our parade got a good response because I noticed a few people laughing at the music that went along with our dances. Looking back at the parade, I really had a lot of fun, and I could honestly do it all over again.
BY: MONIQUE STANSELL