If at first you look at this and think what is Rock Challenge, then click the link to find out! In this blog post I’m gonna explain about the 6 performances I was lucky enough to be a part of during my time at secondary school!
1st year: 2012: The Truth
I started off with a performance that, honestly, confused me quite a bit. It was about the impending 2012 apocalypse as predicted by the Mayans but it also brought up the issue that our society is too obsessed with technology and that if we love the world we have around us, good will prevail. I was a little 11 year old, all new to the world of RC and just blown away by everything I saw. My part was to be one of the three main children who were being shown the different elements of the world by a Mayan leader. I just had a lot of fun jumping around the stage being cheesy – much the same as what I was doing offstage at the events.
2nd year: Crazy In Love
My second year was a theme called Crazy In Love which was essentially Romeo and Juliet but in an asylum. Our lead couple were an arsonist and an insomniac, they find love together but in the end their illness prevents them from being together and the asylum is set on fire. Arsonist Romeo, unable to live with the results of his actions being the cause of his lovers death, takes his own life. I choreographed and was a part of schizophrenic section in which I danced with a partner as the split personality part of her. I was also the fire so I got to skip about all sassy in a fringey firey costume.
3rd year: South
2012 was the best year of my life so far and a large factor in that was RC. This year we told the story of Captain Ernest Henry Shackleton’s expedition to the South pole, with of course the RC dramatised version with a sea queen and an ice queen who tries to trap the explorers. This was a real changing point for my school, we seemed to step it up in all aspects and personally, I had a lot more responsibility with choreography as some of the older students had left school. I played the sea queen which resulted in a beautiful glittery crown (that might have been quite painful). It was also a special year of RC because we got to perform South at four different events in the tour; our showcase at the Aberdeen heat and the Northern Premier Final in Grimsby as normal but we also showcased at the first ever Scottish Final and it was a National Final year too. The fact that we performed it so many times made it that much better because it was like a double RC year. Our team really was a family and I had so much fun. It also doesn’t hurt that we did well in the judges eyes too. To this day, the best moment in my life is the moment where Peterhead Academy were announced as Northern Premier Champions 2012 – I screamed, I cried, I fainted, I said oh my god a million times over and I couldn’t believe it actually happened for a long time after. It meant so much because our school had been working so hard in RC for years and we had never even placed at the premier final before. It was magical. We also came 4th in the UK National Final that year which was insane and I will forever remember South as in incredible journey (ha, get it, journey.. expedition..).
Fourth year: Hunted
Although 2012 was amazing, I would still say that 2013 brought me my favourite Rock Challenge. After engaging in so many events the previous year, 2013 was the first time I started to volunteer with the organisation, because I just couldn’t get enough. I have volunteered every year since then and would definitely give credit to that experience being the reason why I chose to study Events at university. Hunted was a really special RC – it was based on a myth about a mystical beast who comes out on the full moon and it you see it in the sky when the clock strikes midnight then you will be hunted down and taken to the land of death to be sacrificed… sounds fun, huh?! As you can maybe guess by the fluorescent pictures above, I got to play a mystical beast which was the most fun ever! We were all glowy and beautiful in the UV lights and got to be crazy and happy so the dance was really fun to make. I had an absolute blast. The Northern Premier Final stands out as one of the most fun days I’ve had because I literally spent it all with my little group of friends, made up of a bunch of us from three different schools and man, I love those people. Those friendships are what rocka is all about! We came 2nd at the NPF that year so we did indeed GHOGH (go hard or go home)!
Fifth year: Taken
We took another theme curve ball and went for a fairy tale – in 2014 we told the story of the Pied Piper. This was the beautiful year of the rat for me and I got to leads my lovely rats through bewitchment and being drowned in a river (a complicated scene to choreograph but we got there in the end and I was really proud of what we came up with). This was my sister’s final year of school and being able to perform with her that one last time was really special. We performed really well although we didn’t place on the night. A lot of people said they were surprised that had happened but that’s the way competition goes sometimes. When I was back the video I am still so proud of what we produced as a team.
Sixth year: Project 3015: Biofortification
Finally, my last year. Very emotional to leave school and not be able to perform with the team anymore. I was one of the pupil representatives which means we answer questions onstage after the performance to give the stage crews time to swap over sets, and I promised myself that I wouldn’t cry… but I was given the question ‘so this is your last year performing, what does Rock Challenge mean to you?’ and I broke down. I had the whole team, some of the audience and even the judges crying because I just couldn’t vocalise just how much I love RC and how sad I was for my dancing days to be over without bubbling like a little baby! Project 3015: Biofortification was about a scientist who was genetically modifying flowers to try and create a miracle cure for world hunger, but of course in a Peterhead RC things don’t go well for the characters and the flowers mutate and kill everyone. The joys. My part in this year was, naturally, a mutated flower. The most fun part about my role was that I got to kill the professor who was played by my bestie and RC partner-in-crime Callum, it was very therapeutic. Our team really outdid themselves this year from choreography to set design to costumes, the whole production was just stunning and I’m so proud to have been a part of it and so happy that that was my last performance. We came 2nd at the Northern Premier Final and 3rd in the 2015 National Final which was insane! I could go on forever but the 2015 National Final ranks up there in the best days of my life, possibly competing with the 2012 NPF. I made some incredible friends that day and it really confirmed my belief that Rock Challenge is the best thing in the world – the standard of performances was UNBELIEVABLE, I was privileged to just be there, never mind place. Our team did ourselves proud and we went home from that year as a family. The icing on the cake was being announced as Mr and Mrs Rock Challenge with my murder victim Callum at our PARC awards night.
And then I had to be a grown up.