A dancer's view of the opening ceremony: An incredible experience – now I just want to watch it
Lee Meadows, 28, a professional tap dancer from Swindon, participated in last night's Opening Ceremony as a Harry Potter "Dementor", hiding beneath the trampoline bed of a Great Ormond Street child
Saturday 28 July 2012
The first thing I'm going to do in the morning is watch the ceremony. Billions of people might have seen it, but not me! I will never forget this incredible experience. I have danced in stadiums before and I don't get nervous. But the Olympics is different. It's the thought of all those people watching it on television. More people than you can possibly imagine, in more places than you can possibly ever go.
It takes longer to get changed and go down there than we are actually on stage. It's a half-an-hour walk, in costume, from our cabins to the stage, then the same back. It doesn't feel like it's actually done. I guess I'll have to get over that feeling pretty quickly – I need to find another job.
It seems a long time ago that we were in a studio, rehearsing, mapping it all out. Then we were in the big tent in Dagenham, a replica of the "field of play".
Then you come to the stadium and you realise quite how big an event it is. It's megalithic. A lot of my mates laugh at the Pukka Pies advert I did a few years ago, so fortunately this has got a bit more street cred. And the volunteers working alongside us have been amazing. There's one guy in our segment who was travelling down from Newcastle for rehearsals every day.
The Opening Ceremony doesn't go on the medal table, but it matters a lot. We were definitely in a competition. It was always "Beijing did this", "Athens did this", "How much did Sydney spend on that?"
The Opening Ceremony gets people's attention and sets the tone. If it's good, people will watch more of the Games.
And as a host nation it shows we mean business.
The organisers have spent so much money on the park, on the venues and on the athletes as well. It's our job to cut the ribbon. I hope you liked it. I can't wait.
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