The Children of Lir, performance at MFC 'de Boomgaard' in Zuidoostbeemster

As I did not compete in the class-competition, I make my way to the Zuidoostbeemster around 4:15 PM, with my parents arriving shortly after.

I arrive at the hall around 4:30. I take a quick look in the hall and feel how I'm starting to get agitated. When I talk to my parents later, they say it wasn't all that bad, but I most likely made it out of the hall in time and was now better aware of it.
Besides, the hall is too warm in my opinion to just stay and have a look, but I'm also very nervous. Hell, I'm feeling almost exactly like before my first competition. The dance I need to do is in my mind for so long already that that isn't the problem. I don't like the foresight of just standing on stage for 5 scenes in a row.

I go outside, read a newspaper and then get back inside to change. There is a changing room for men, but to say it is being strictly separated... no. Quite a lot of girls and women are using it as the other changing room is already packed. The toilet in this changing room proves to be defective, the one in the ladies' is occupied. A young woman of unknown age gets a jumpscare when she exits the toilet and sees me, probably not prepaired for male visitors.

I apologise, though I can't do all that much about it.
With my headphones on and my soundrecorder in one of my hands, I practice what I need to do. Deep inside I want to be absolutely sure that I will make it out allright. To almost everyone's surprise, we are suddenly asked to take all our belongings with us to go upstairs, to a room above the sports-hall.

There, a circus starts that just makes me feel simple, me being a man. About 30, maybe 40, girls and women in the ages ranging from 6 to about 40 years has turned into something that shows great resemblance to ant-hill, where especially the teenagers are the busiest and is searching for deodorant, lipstick or other forms of make-up. It's a bit of a comical sight seeing them running around.

Make-up, hairpins, costumes, everything is brought out in an extreme tempo while many adults and class-members are helping eachother out with an efficiency I've never seen. I turn around and practice my steps again. Not because I'm afraid now that it will go wrong, but to keep myself warmed-up. Such a nice cramp as at the Antwerp competition is something I'd like to avoid at any cost.

'You're playing the king right?' A woman, unknown to me, asks. I confirm and get a red cape in my hands. I'm glad, because so far, I did not find myself to be much of a king, but now I at least look a bit like one.

I drape the red velvet cape around me and I'm being asked if I can dance in it. I say yes, but at the same time, I'm starting to sweat. Not because I have to dance with it (though I would have loved to try that a bit earlier on) but because the cape itself is just very, very warm. After just 10 seconds sweat is already running down in a stream over my back and when I practice my steps I really heat up. The fabric doesn't breath at all and I'm not really looking forward.

When the first part is over and I'm glad I don't have to just stand there (though I expected different), confusion hits when the teacher's daughter, that also has a part in this play, starts whispering quite demanding that I don't need the cape anymore.
But, wait a minute, I was the king right? I have a hard time hearing what she says and she repeats slightly agitated I can loose the cape. When I give her a look that we'll see where I'll end up and then think she says I'm not necessary at all anymore, I walk up and ask to clarify what is going on. Fortunately, I'm not the only one who has lost track of what needs to be done and what not.

Our part fortunately is not cancelled and after scene 5, the moment's there. I still don't like the wait, but I at least know that I will be doing something instead of just standing there.
My back is still very sweaty from the cape I was wearing a few minutes before and when I begin dancing, it hits me hard.
Fortunately, everything goes well and after a short minute, I'm ready to dance along with the girls.

My parents are surprised, especially because of the scale of this performance, where almost every group of the school is represented and plays a part in the story.

While we change, I ask one of the little contestants from the friday night, that took part in the competition, what the result was. She is happy, as she managed to win from her class-member. She does say that it wasn't really a surprise considering the effort it took for her classmember to pass her dance-teacher exams.

After a short chat, I leave for home. On the way back, my parents said it looked good. Well... okay, that's probably fair to say if that really is the case. Of course, I never really notice it when I'm dancing, but especially my dad said it looked impressively easy.