Quote of the week: “Keep your face always toward the sunshine and shadows will fall behind you.” — Walt Whitman

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Forget about going to haunted houses or haunted mazes for Halloween next year. The new thing to do is going to an interactive haunted dance performance. Last week, I saw a friend perform in Leverage Dance Theater’s “The Forgotten Ones” show in St. Louis. Yes, the show was just as creepy as the title.

It took place at an art gallery space and the area was divided into different sections. The audience was divided into two groups and each group had a tour guide leading us where to go throughout the show. Before we entered, a spooky video played in the lobby explaining what we were about to see. All performers had dark makeup on and were wearing a white outfit. Picture a handful of dancers dressed as the girl from “The Ring” with long dark hair and white dresses/ white outfits.

Our demonic tour guide led us to the first area where there were solo performances. It was a small space with dim lighting. The audience either sat on the floor or stood. In the first solo performance, the dancer was kneeling on the ground and creepy music played as she portrayed being possessed or demented in some way. She got close to the people sitting in front so I was glad I was standing in the back. In intimate spaces, it’s awkward where to look because you make direct eye contact with the dancer. Making direct eye contact with someone always makes me lose my concentration when performing.

As we made our way to the second solo, other performance members in costume were standing around acting scary to keep us in the Halloween mood. One of the performances scared my other friend who I attended with and she said out loud “Was that necessary?” I can’t take her anywhere.

In the second solo, the dancer was mainly chair bound. Dancing with props is difficult and even more so in dim lighting. She got close to the front row audience and the people in the front seemed very spooked. I liked how going from one dance to another that the music never stopped. It was just one continuous song.

We eventually made our way to a stairwell where several dancers performed up and down the stairs. My friend and I sat toward the front. The only thing I didn’t like were the screams. Those definitely startled me. It was cool how they danced and moved about on the stairwell. After that piece, we followed the creepy dancers up the stairs to the top floor.

Awaiting our arrival was a dancer standing on a chair in a long white dress with her long dark hair covering her face. It looked like she was floating because of the long dress. I liked that dance because she looked like a zombie bride and she danced with the layers of her dress. My favorite piece was the finale. The audience was lined up in a hallway and the dancers moved around us and throughout the hallway. It was very unique and interesting to watch because you didn’t know what was going to happen next or which way to look. The dancers went in and out of doors, lifted each other up at the end of the hallway, and ran up and down.

The show overall was frightening and fascinating. To me, this was better than just being startled at a haunted house or going to a haunted maze. If you’re sad that the scary holiday is over, like me, never fear because you can watch “The Haunting of the Hill House” on Netflix. For weeks, people kept recommending the show to me. Over the weekend I finally got to watch it. I heard in every episode there is a ghost hiding in some of the scenes. I need to keep a close eye and watch for them. Happy Wednesday!