My Time with The Young Canadians
I am by no means a dancer.
But considering I did a whole lot of material on being with the Showband, I figured I should also talk about my brief but relatively exciting time with The Young Canadians (or TYC for short)
I had minimal experience dancing when I was little, and had a very mild refresher to it when I did marching band. So how I came to photograph dancers is still a little beyond me, but it happened and little ol' awkward me has got a few things to say about it all.
Firstly, it was definitely not what I had expected going into it.
Now what did I expect exactly? Partially stemming from ignorance of how they did their rehearsals, I thought they didn't work as hard as the Showband did. Which probably isn't the best scale to measure on, but again, it did stem from a little bit of ignorance, as at that time I only really knew Showband. There's a belief amongst the band that The Young Canadians are a bunch of spoiled individuals who do not work as hard as those in Showband. It also probably doesn't help that neither program really interact with one another, and I'm pretty sure even at this point if you were to ask anyone in either organization, they would side with their respective group but in reality they were quite similar. Though the rehearsal hours are structured out differently due to the main age discrepancies in the groups (TYC are aged 7-18, and Showband is 16-21), they both end up reaching about the same amount of hours weekly. The rehearsal/practice days are eerily similar to each other as well. But to some extent it just made me feel more comfortable knowing that shared so many similarities to what I already knew.
Second, I'm way more awkward than I ever imagined.
For someone who is pursuing a career that heavily relies on my interactions with other people, I am incredibly awkward and introverted around new people. Because of that, my interactions of those significantly younger than me didn't happen mainly because my schedule lined up with the rehearsals of the senior group. Even the interactions of those who were closer to my age in the senior group were very short and relatively hard to come by. Don't get me wrong here, they were pleasant interactions, they just very rarely happened, and at no time did I actually learn anyones names besides the instructors, which I only vaguely remember at this point (which I will attribute that to my my inability to remember names, while with the members I literally just never got to know them at all). Do I wish I had gotten to know the group a little bit better? Well of course, but looking back to the time I was hanging around them, there was never really a time for me to talk to them at all.
Lastly, what I took away from my time with them.
So in hindsight I didn't really spend too much time with the group. It was only about 5 months, and I only went to their rehearsals once a week (which with how they split the week up, usually ended up being on a day where the seniors were rehearsing something). Besides what I have already stated in the previous two points, the time I spent photographing these performers was a very meaningful experience and I feel that what I took away from it all can be kept with me for the years to come. Some of which happen to overlap with my take aways from being in marching band. Some of it is just growth as a photographer. The most meaningful thing that I've come to appreciate out of the two separate experiences I've had (being in the Showband and taking photos of TYC) is being thrown into situations not knowing a whole lot and being forced to think on your feet. It's a bit of a nightmare being stuck in the middle of it all, but they weren't so bad in the end. Do I want to be thrown in to those situations again? Not really, I tend to plan out how things work and go from there. But is it going to happen anyways? Most definitely.
But maybe that isn't such a bad thing.
I'm going to call this my last post about the Stampede for the year, and just say thanks to all the staff of both of these organizations for letting me do what I do. And a great big thanks to the members of both programs. Without you these photos wouldn't have happened, I wouldn't be who I am now, and these programs would not be what they are.
I hope to do this again sometime.
If you haven't already, please take a look at the gallery I have for the TYC.
Till next time.