Taking StepUp Academy students to perform onstage at DisneyLand Paris had been a pipeline dream for a long time for Manager, Ms Vicky, but earlier this year that dream came true!
22 StepUp dancer, 5 StepUp teachers and 12 very supportive family chaperones went on a 5 day adventure to Paris, France! Taking to the stage on the DisneyLand Paris theatre to an international audience, exploring the park and learning from industry professionals in exclusive workshops from Disney’s professional performers. Want to hear more about our adventure? Read on!
The Disney journey began in September 2016, after months of discussing with the Disney team and researching, the application had reached an important stage – the video audition! They were looking for the whole package – choreography, costumes, timing, technique and performance. Three of our dance teams had just competed in the Short & Sweet Bollywood Festival; all teams wowing the crowds and making it through to the gala finale, with our SUA Combo team taking away a trophy! Using the videos from this performance our team was successful in our audition and invited to perform at DisneyLand Paris!
Our team of 22 dancers were then carefully selected and the preparations began! Teachers dedicated hours to planning the choreography, costumes and props, our admin team coordinated with parents, booked flights, accommodation and restaurants and the students began intense rehearsals to prepare the 20 minute performance with just a short number of weeks to go!
Our pending adventure saw our smiling faces featured in articles from Gulf News, The National, Connector, The Arabian Post, Dubai Week, MENAFN, Go Dubai and we were even interviewed live on air by Pearl FM!
With suitcases packed to the brim with hairspray, glitter and costumes – our excited team, students and families met at the Etihad Dubai terminal ready to start the journey to France!
On arrival in Paris we checked into our hotel in the park and met with the rest of our group for our first dinner at Disney. We then set off for an early night, much rest was needed for the big day ahead!
The performance preparations started bright and early with our team meeting at 6am and turning the hotel lobby into our personal dressing room! It was a full team effort with parents, teachers and senior students pitching in to help get all performers stage ready with full hair and make up.
After a quick, early breakfast we set off to the park to take to the stage! After a few initial dramas of forgotten park passes (and dance shoes!) it was straight onto the stage for our first and final rehearsal. Then costumes on, warms up and stretches completed, flags at the ready – lets go!
“All our hard work paid off. It was our moment to shine. It just felt great.” Rhiana – performer
“It was amazing. They did such a good job… all smiling and I was crying!” Ms Emily – teacher
Buzzing from the experience of our performance we went on to spend an afternoon enjoying the magic and rides of the park!
Today was the day for our very own Disney workshops! Held exclusively for performers at the park, our girls enjoyed a dance class with Disney professional performer, Kylie, followed by an amazing musical theatre workshop with Paris Disney’s vocal coach!
Following the workshop we enjoyed the park again, getting to go back to our favourite rides or visiting those we missed the day before.
That evening student, Eliny, celebrated a very special birthday with all our team in the park at dinner. Following dinner, with students faces covered in sprinkles from games at the restaurant, we took over the grass area outside in the park entertaining all the guests with our dancing, singing and gymnastics tricks – everyone got involved, even the Dads impressed us with their skills!
We were then treated to a very special firework and projection show at the castle, our visit coincided with the 25th Anniversary in the Park! A truly magical and memorable experience to witness.
The team was up bright and early for breakfast, meeting Goofy, Daisy Duck, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet over their morning orange juice and coffees. We then enjoyed a full day at the park and took the chance to watch one of the Disney professional shows ‘Cinemagique’!
Our last day at the park! We took advantage of our last chance to go on our favourite rides before our flight home! “My favourite was the ‘Rock N Roller coaster – it had 3 loops in it!” Karissa, performer.
“I was so proud watching our students up there on the Disney stage after weeks of hard work! From every rehearsal to the trip itself we made memories that will last a lifetime.’ Ms Fiona.