Backstage at Synapse: A glimpse behind the scenes

Perfectly made-up faces and tightly wrapped hair buns. Classically cluttered dressing tables and clothing racks lined with costumes under shiny plastic covers. Limber students sprawled out on the floor stretching. Dancing, giggling. The latest pop tunes blare and echo throughout the dingy underground room below the stage, feeding the electricity in the air and radiating off of the performers backstage of Synapse.

It's opening night. Some exhale a heavy, nervous sigh while gazing into the mirror at their makeup one last time to make sure it’s perfect. Others like Jayna Goins seem perfectly at ease and ready to give it all they’ve got. “Oh I don’t get nervous," she says, "the only thing that makes me nervous is driving in traffic.”

Barbara Rain, the costume designer, is in the hallway just outside of the dressing room making last minute touches to a few of the costumes, ”The dancers here are just really professional," she says. "I'm really astounded by their togetherness. Usually they all huddle together before a show and talk about how they are a team and in this together. They're great.”

Performers traipse up the stairs, past the television displaying a live feed of the performance and gather in the left wing to wait for the cue to enter stage. The mood becomes frantically quixotic. Small pockets of dancers clutter off to the side to rehearse one last time and confirm the choreography. The rest embrace each other in an uplifting, encouraging huddle.

As the night progresses on stage, so does the vibe backstage. The performers flow almost as one entity, constantly keeping one another in check. What starts out as a buzzing electricity is slowly churned into exhausted pride. The exhaustion comes partly from the performance itself and partly from the spastic scurry into yet another costume change.

The pride sets in when they exit the stage and the cheers from the audience reverberate backstage. The spirit is as alive and real as the camaraderie. This is their night and they're in it together.

For a deeper look at the show from the audience's point of view, click here to read the Corsair's review of Synapse Fall 2015.