What is the most cliché thing about the movie theater?
Is it the smell of popcorn? The previews that seem to last longer than the movie itself? What about the person in front of you that just can’t seem to turn off their phone? Or the people who sit next to you even though the theater is completely empty?
All of those were in full affect this weekend at Springfield College when the 105th Annual Gymnastics Home Show debuted. There were non-stop phone users and although the bleachers were full, many people found a way to fit right in front of you.
Oddly once, when the show, titled Motion and Film, started, there did seem to be a faint smell of overly buttered popcorn wafting through the crowd of alumni, students and faculty alike.
The atmosphere was set and anticipation was high meaning there was only one thing left to happen…the show. As all trips to the movie should, this year’s Home Show started out with previews before the main movies like Tron, Avatar and the superheroes took over.
“The seniors had a really big role in choosing the theme this year,” commented Erika Van Dyke, one of two assistant coaches for the women’s gymnastics team.
“They wanted to have a film and movie theme and we choose the movies based on what we felt would bring out our talents as a team. We loved the idea to put Avatar as the aerial silks number because it brought the elements from the movie into our show.”
Gasps and stares of wonderment rolled through the crowd during every number as each set was perfectly casted and perfectly placed. From Tarzan on the rings to the Horse Whisperer on the pommel horse, every movie found a place on the gymnastics floor.
But what seemed to be the most impressive feat was the pose and character from each and every gymnast. Even after mistakes or falls, their ability to shake it off and move on made the audience fall in love.
Knowing the gymnasts worked hard for that one moment, helped the audience sympathize with their protagonists.
“One of the things gymnastics pushes for is perfection but there is no such thing,” continued Van Dyke.
“Its hard to perform the with such skill and [the gymnasts] took a lot of those mishaps in stride. They knew it wasn’t perfect but they also understood the crowd was there to support them and loved every minute of it.”
And support them they did. Most movie theaters end with audience members shuffling out as fast as they can. But not Home Show.
At the end, audience members had been converted to fans who loved and adored everyone of their movie stars. The thunderous claps continued on into the night and echoed throughout the rafters of Blake Arena.
With such a memorable performance, everyone is left wonder and waiting in anticipation for the 106th Annual Home Show.
Pat Kenney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org