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Huan Ying To SEMIFINALS!!! Narrowing The Field In Xian
Posted on Sep 30
REGIONALS were a blast and now it is SEMIFINALS!!! Narrowing the number of dancers to 16 was much harder than anticipated. All the contestants are exceptional and ready for competition. Our first adventurous stop was in XIAN. My late night arrival (due to major delays at the airport) was not on the schedule, but like they say in the Entertainment Field,” That's Show Biz!” The NBA Crew is so reliable. They escorted me to the hotel, and I was able to catch a few ZZZ's knowing that the following morning (very early) would be the start of a very busy day.
The morning consisted of a training camp, the afternoon was spent on preparations for the show taping, and then a special TSINGTAO EVENT in the evening was to welcome all the executives to the SEMIFINALS SHOW TAPING. A lovely event it was.
The excitement of NBA in CHINA is becoming more and more crowd appealing. The NBA added to this excitement by inviting the Houston Rockettes Power Dancers to perform at “Dance Passion.” I had the pleasure of welcoming this talented team to NBA CHINA.
Together we enjoyed a fun day of sightseeing all over XIAN. Not only did I get to hang with fellow NBA Dancers and their Coach, we all were able to see one of the EIGHT WONDERS OF THE WORLD, “THE TERRACOTTA WARRIORS!”
The weather presented a slight downfall with pouring rain, with no sign of stopping. These past few months I have experienced much rain in China. I have learned to live with it (like the Chinese do) and not let it stop me from having a good time. Knowing that we were going to tape the SEMIFINALS in XIAN, I had to see this WONDER and nothing (especially the weather) was going to ruin this for me. The TERRACOTTA WARRIORS and HORSES are the most significant archeological
excavations of the 20th century. Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of all China, created his Mausoleum that took 11 years to finish, and it holds treasures and sacrificial objects to accompany the Emperor in his after life. These TERRACOTTA WARRIORS were made to keep the Emperor safe in his afterlife. What is so amazing is that these WARRIORS cover an area of 16,300 square meters, and all together over 7,000 Pottery Soldiers, Horses, Chariots, and even Weapons have been discovered.
After the excitement of the WARRIORS, our guide drove us to the Muslim Quarter of the city for shopping and the experience of market bargaining. Departing from that fun filled experience, we walked to the famous DRUM TOWER at the centre of XIAN.
Although extremely wet, our day turned out to be a great one. Our evening ended with the group having dinner filled with local food specialties and dumplings galore! My favorite, the duck and turtle shaped dumplings. How adorable!!
An evening of much needed REST prepared me for the next busy day of observing, teaching, giving comments, and making decisions. Watching (and being involved with) the setting up of the stage for the live show taping is always (to me anyway) so amazing. Many new gadgets are needed to make sure everything runs smooth for the taping. Screens are installed in many other areas as well as showing the taping live on CCTV5 making the live experience much more real. Preparing for a live show takes many hours of blocking on stage, running exits and entrances, and observing lighting, sound, and crew.
The run through took over four hours for a two hour show. We always wonder “will this really be able to get smooth enough to run top to bottom in under two hours.”
I was anxious and very happy to see all the contestants from each REGIONAL SHOW come together for this round of SEMIFINALS. I could feel their excitement to see me again. Observing their progress was rewarding. Their enthusiasm and passion for this competition is overwhelming. They all want to win and each one gives their best. The contestants were in AWE when they met the beautiful and talented Houston Rockettes. The Houston Rockettes and their Coach were so supportive and made the contestants feel very comfortable.
The long rehearsals ended, brief meetings with CCTV5 ended, and then we were on our way back to the hotel for some relaxation for our long day tomorrow.
Today we go LIVE! It's SHOWTIME! It's SEMIFINALS! Arriving at the area early, we were able to do last minute dress rehearsals and tweak any last minute changes. The stage looked great. The area was enlarged, and the surface was redone making it really shine. Our last dress rehearsal was taped with an audience of the Chinese Military. So amazing to see rows and rows of Military sitting and watching our rehearsal (perfectly up right and astute).
This Military Audience looked almost fake because of their posture and demure, but when it came time to cheer or clap, the roar was enormous. The size and energy of this live audience was so astounding. Our performers really did feed off their energy. When the director said, “Everything Looks Good,” then it was break time and back to the hotel to change, eat, and get ready for the Live Show Taping.
We arrived at the arena a little early to do some local and national interviews and television segments. Then it was focus time. This is live, so once the cameras start rolling, there is no stopping. The flow has to be precise and everyone has to hit their mark on stage. This is a Reality Show, so the unknown can happen and the unexpected is sometimes the best television.
LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION! It is 7:30 pm. Can't look back now! The opening number with the contestants was filled with energy, no snags, and one by one after each performance, the contestants were narrowed to the FINAL EIGHT which will be moving on to FINALS in BEIJING. How Exciting! Tears! Hard work! Anticipation! I have become so attached to these girls, so I'm thrilled for them but also crying with them through this process.
I would like to take this opportunity to mention that it was an honor to meet and work with the beautiful and talented Houston Rockettes Power Dancers and their Coach. All the dancers were exceptionally nice and their Coach was a pleasure to work with and converse with throughout this trip. Their Glam and Style added that extra spark to the overall "DANCE PASSION" SHOW, and the contestants were ecstatic to meet a team of NBA IDOLS. It was late, but we did manage to celebrate the taping of the first SEMIFINALS.
The next day I was back in Hong Kong with meetings, consulting, unpacking, and then packing for my highly anticipated day that I have been looking forward to……I am going to CHICAGO…….Only for a short time….But I will take it! Can hardly wait to see my Family, Friends, Classmates, and my Fellow LUVABULLS. My first time to meet the new LUVABULLS SQUAD and catch up! Looking forward to spending special time with my DE PAUL DANCE TEAM also. Thanks SARAH for all your hard work and devotion.
CHICAGO here I come!
Signing Off For Now.
Until Next Time,