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In class the other day, Mrs. Ingrid mentioned the word tonus, and how it affects the way we work and perform onstage. She said that we have to have energy flowing through our bodies while onstage, so we don’t look weak or out of place. Since I’ve been dancing since the age of two, I’ve grown up with the ability to perform onstage, showing off my stage presence and dance skills. In the dance classroom, you must always be lifted and full of energy in order to perform correctly. As Mrs. Ingrid said, this is tonus. We are a show choir, and we are known for our ability to perform and sing at the same time.

But out group has an even greater challenge, we are known to be the best show choir, mainly because we are a school for the arts. If we went onstage without working as a team, and trying our hardest, I know we’d fail. The only way to achieve our goal is to work hard on the steps, motions, and vocal aspects of this production and do it to the best of our ability. We can’t be weak or out of place onstage, we have to use tonus and exaggerate our stage presence. We star our production off, with everyone sitting either on a box or on the risers.

I am on a small box by myself. Even though you wouldn’t think that tonus plays a part while you’re just sitting, it does. You have to use your latissimus dorsi to hold your back straight and tall. You don’t want to slouch onstage, it gives you a bad image, and starts the whole production off rocky. When we stand, we need to still keep our backs straight holding th latissimus dorsi muscles tense, and using our gluteus maximus, gastrocnemius, and peroneus to pull your body up without using your hands to push on the ground.

Next, we walk around and under Sade, using the latissimus dorsi to hold our backs tall, and we also are using our deltoid muscles, our infraspinatus, and our teres major to hold our arms to our sides with energy. As we continue the combinations, my group on the risers has to hold an arabesque. This may not seem to be a complicated step, but there are many muscles that are used to give this step energy. The muscles that aid in the holding of this position are the latissimus dorsi, triceps, biceps, quadriceps, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, peronus, soleus, and of course the gluteus maximus.

Tonus is essential to dance, and show choir. You always have to have stage presence evident no matter what you are doing onstage. You have to pretend like you are the only one onstage and do your best, because all eyes are on you. If everyone else is bright and full of energy and you are slouchy and weak, then all eyes will be on you, and points will be taken away. You have to pretend that the groups score as a whole counts on you, and that everyone is depending on you to do your part. Show choir is teamwork, and if you don’t play your part the whole group will fail.

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