Former student prepares for big show


Kailei Pritchard

Tara Garza practicing for her last dance in the Stephenville Dance Center showcase in May.

     BEEEEPPPPP!  She sat up in bed and rubbed the sleep from her eyes, it was 8 a.m. Today was show day, her second performance in her collegiate dance career. Feeling nervous and excited she got up, stretched, and started her routine for her big day.

    “Getting ready for a show is definitely stressful,” said former student Tara Garza. “I get very nervous, but seeing the end results makes it worthwhile.” 

   Tara began dancing when she was only 2 years old.

  “I started dancing at a very young age and all throughout high school on a drill team so continuing to dance in college makes me feel at home, Tara said.   “My mom was a dancer, so she wanted me to join dance too. It was a big part of my mother’s life.” 

   Tara continues to carry on her passion for dancing with Stephenville Dance Center. Tara will be performing this spring on May 30 and 31 at Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center at Tarleton State University. 

   Tara says being able to show commitment, dedication, passion, and compromise is what it takes to pull off a show.  

   “How you choose to spend your hours and prepare for a show is important,” said Tara. 

   Tara says being put together and ready not only helps her stay focused, it also helps her instructors and teammates stay on top of things too.

         “I normally start eating healthy and drinking more water a couple weeks before,” said Tara. “Then the morning of the show, I eat an acai bowl topped with granola and peanut butter to get my protein in for the day.” 

     Next, Tara sits at her vanity to start her makeup and hair routine. 

   “I start off by doing my hair,” said Tara. “Our hair is the same for every dance we do.”

   The main purpose for using the ballet bun is to keep hair from blocking their vision and to keep it from falling out. 

 “It’s a high bun, so I start by wetting my hair then using a brush to pull it up in a high pony. Then I plaster it with hair spray and use a teasing comb or clean toothbrush to keep it from falling out,” said Tara. 

   Stephenville Dance Center’s spring show can consist of up to seventeen dances or more. Having to worry about one less detail is important to keep the dancers less stressed and more focused. 

“ I hairspray the ponytail and tightly twist it into a bun and secure it with bobby pins, a hairnet, and more hairspray,” said Tara. “Being in over half of the dances, it’s nice to not have to worry about changing my hair and just focus on the next routine.”

   Make-up is a very important part of preparation because it’s a key factor in showing emotions on stage and helps keep dancers confident.

   “I start with foundation, I use Too Faced Born This Way and setting powder from Laura Mercier to create a base. Then I do light contouring with the KKW Beauty contour stick and a heavier blush from M.A.C in shade light plum. 

   To show better emotion on stage, the dancers are required to wear darker eye makeup that reads well under bright stage lights.

 “For my eyes, we do a neutral Smokey eye. I use the Anastasia Soft Glam pallet. Then top it off with eyelashes, a red lipstick of our choice, and setting spray,” said Tara.

   By the time she’s done with her face, it’s time to go for her 10 a.m. run through so she grabs her bag and heads to her car.

   “In my bag I bring lots of snacks and water, so I don’t run out of energy throughout the day,” said Tara. “I also pack all of my makeup, hairspray, and all of the shoes required for my dances.”

   She arrives at the auditorium at 10 a.m. just in time for their big run through.

   “Our run through before show normally takes around three hours,” said Tara. “We like to make sure all of the special effects, lighting, and music are correct and going as planned.”

   It is now 1:50 p.m. and Tara is waiting in the wings for the opening number.

   “When the curtains open, the lights blind me, and I hear the loud cheers of the audience’s applause,” Tara said.”My heart starts racing, and I get this nervous/excited feeling. I know this is going to be an amazing show.”