One minute I was sitting in an auditorium with 50 other school mates learning about singing in Disney World and the next I was standing on stage in Downtown Disney in Orlando, Florida. That’s the only thing I remember about performing. Crazy, right? I know. But let’s rewind about seven months. Every four years my chorus teacher organizes a group of students that call themselves “Disney Chorus.” The group practices a medley of songs and a dance for an entire school year to get ready for one performance in Disney World.
The choreography has to be perfect. Every mark has to be hit. Not a single note can be flat or sharp. Everyone has to look the same and perfect. Most importantly, you better smile the entire time. We never heard the end of that discussion. Be happy! Let me see smiles! More energy! “It’s Disney World, people!” my teacher would scream over the music during yet another endless rehearsal. “You are supposed to be happy.”
Well by this past April, we were probably the happiest kids on Earth about to arrive in the happiest place on Earth. We boarded two coach buses at our small western Pennsylvania school and got ready to say goodbye to the rainy Pennsylvania weather, and hello to sunny Florida. We played in the parks for two straight days. I have never had so much fun in my life. My friends and I conquered Splash Mountain, rocked out on Rockin’ Roller Coaster, and watched Mickey defeat all evil in Fantasmic. It was really hot out and sometimes all we wanted to do was go back to the hotel but all it took were a couple smiles from someone or cracking a joke and we were all having fun. We loved every minute of our time in Disney.
On our third day in Disney World, the entire group went over to Downtown Disney to perform. We were all bouncing out of our bus seats with nerves and excitement. We got the craziest looks as we walked through the area in two single file lines with our khaki pants, blue polo shirts, and white sneakers. All the chorus members walked out on stage as our school name was announced over the loud speaker. I think it was safe to say that we were all out of our element. The music started up and I looked to the back to see my chorus teacher with her fingers on the corners of her mouth, pulling it up into a smile. There we were, 50 smiling kids singing and dancing to the works of Walt himself. The crowd was smiling too. Our parents, of course, sat the entire time and watched all 30 minutes of our performance. The most surprising part, however, was the many strangers we saw seated in front of the stage where we were performing. They sat there in the blazing sun and 92 degree weather for that half-an-hour cheering us on, their smiles as big as ours.
Our performance wasn’t anything near perfect, but the people still loved us. One of the cast members in Disney said that it was our energy. We had the most energy of any group that had performed that day and that was what kept the people waiting. We used that energy throughout the rest of our stay in Disney as more magic was experienced and more memories were made. We even spread some in Islands of Adventure in Universal as our bright eyes marveled and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, something the whole group had been dying to see. I learned from that trip that if your energy is up everybody else’s is too. And that it’s life, people. You are supposed to be happy.
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