Here are some of my favorite pictures from the show.
As I’ve thought of what I wanted to write for our final show, I have trouble finding words.
What started out as a simple decision to try something new since I’m already at a new studio turned out to be one of the greatest things I’ve ever done.
I’ve faced fears–so many fears–right in the face and overcame them. I’ve tried so many new things and met new people. I was able to take pictures backstage throughout the whole thing and give them to the dancers and/or their parents. I’ve been welcomed in a warm way, which has been more of a relief than I even hoped for.
Last night’s show wasn’t my best (I’d say Saturday’s was) but to think of how far I’ve come from the beginning of this, my “not best” greatly surpasses my hope for a maybe best when this started.
Does that even make sense?
It was a late night and I’m at work and still on a Nutcracker high.
I’m really sad it’s over, but so beyond grateful to have been a part of this wonderful production; and in it’s 40th year, no less!
One of those moments when you just feel the reality of the moment you’re in happened again last night. I was on stage, during the finale (which we actually did right!) and you could see the top of the conductor’s head, forehead scrunched in concentration as he led the musicians. A perspective I’ve never seen but in movies. It was amazing.
So, since words are failing me, here are some pictures. 😀
There were so many friends in the audience, it really made my heart explode. I don’t know what it is about it, but it makes you feel good to know you have friends that love and support you. I guess for so long I did things and no one really cared. They thought I was wasting my time or it was a phase or whatever. But now I’m doing something I love simply because I love it, and I’ve been given these amazing opportunities to do more with it; it’s great to have people support you in it. (Even if you’re only on stage for a minute and a half.)
Hah! The group then guessed all sorts of ages until they finally got to twenty-six and they didn’t believe it. One said, “how are you twenty-six?” To which I replied, “well, I was born in 1988 and the years just keep coming.”
It was such a hoot.
So the days since our last performance have been filled with emotions all over the spectrum.
- My neighbor died
- My old roommate had her baby
- My friend’s mom died
Not to mention all the family and work drama. Oddly, this doesn’t feel like all that much, but in four days, it kinda hits.
Needless to say, I was really excited to have rehearsal tonight. Dance makes me feel like I’m alive and have something to live for. Not that I don’t without it, but it just encompasses all those emotions in a way other things don’t. And dancing on the theater stage just amplifies it. It feels right, and it feels like I never want to leave, even if every seat is empty.
There was a moment when they were running the battle scene. A good sized group of us were sitting on the floor in the aisles of the audience, talking about this that or the other. I looked at the stage and took a moment to take it in. Someone walked past and smiled at me, and that’s when I realized what was at the root of everything I was feeling–acceptance.
Here I was, this new person, no one owes me a thing or knows me from Adam, but they liked me. They accepted me. They listen when I speak and let me listen to them speak. They’re kind towards me and inclusive.
I guess this is kind of new to me. This never really happened in High School, but it never really didn’t happen. I guess I’m in a place where I am more confident in myself and don’t rely on outside sources for verification, so having acceptance feels refreshing. I don’t need it, but that makes it all the better.
I danced the best I’ve done this season, I think. It felt good.
That feeling of just completely letting go, dancing because it’s in your soul and not caring what anyone around you is thinking. Just doing it for yourself. It was a good day.
Sadly, it wasn’t for everyone. Several of the younger kids were out sick, and one of the flowers came down wrong on her foot and rolled it. This season seems to be plagued.
Still, we march on.
My friend’s and their two little girls came to see me dance. These little ones light up my life. Seriously. They are the sweetest souls, and have a way of making you feel loved like no one else can.
I was a little nervous going into Sunday’s performance that Saturday’s was a one-and-done type of thing. That it happened and couldn’t be replicated. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case.
Warm up started us off, and for some reason my body decided it was the prime time to revolt. My stomach turned throughout the entire half hour, requiring me to awkwardly sit out many of the warm ups, especially if they involved excessive use of the abs. Thankfully, no one really asked questions, but people did stare a bit.
I made it through and did what I could. I did the turn combination with some of the more advanced girls (granted, they did multiple turns, and I kept it safe with a solid one. It’s warm up, whatever.)
I think our first performance was stronger, but number two was also a solid one. Once again, I managed the turn, and felt really good going in to the second half of the segment.
Until the music stopped.
What do we do? Do we keep going? Do we wait for it to come back? Theater in me says keep going, but what if we do and it comes back on? Then we’re off, and it’s not just me.
We all kind of waited in a moment of hesitation to decide, when it came back on. We managed to keep on time and go with the flow, and by the end of it no one seemed to remember. But still, talk about moment of panic!
The finale was a mess. I still suck at chaines turns, and almost ran into the Arabian Principal dancer. Not one of my finer moments. Whatever.
And seeing pictures of me during performance, I’m kind of cringing (not yours, Lillian. Yours are good :D) because I fear my technique isn’t as good as I tell myself it is in my head.
So. I want to try harder this next week. My old dance teacher will be out there and I want to have straight knees and lift up out of my shoe and not compromise because of nerves. I want to be better.
Yesterday was the first day I hadn’t danced in a week, and it was very sad. I love getting to do ballet every day during Nutcracker season, and have already seen improvement. I want that trend to continue, not lose it all because we don’t have class for a couple weeks.
Now I’m back to the reality that I work a full time job that is completely opposite of ballet. And it’s sad. But oh well, I guess. I’m just happy that I still get to dance when I do. How awesome is it, right?
Here’s some pictures, finally:
And wouldn’t you know it, I did the turn! My face lit up and I was freaking out with excitement. When I got off stage I said, “I did it!” And ms munro was there and she pat me on the back and said, “you did it! Well done!”
while we were warming up, some of the kids started getting there. The curtain was open, and they sat and watched us with eyes of wonder. I kept thinking how cool it was to be a part of something that is inspiring children, something that’s a tradition for so many families.
When the show was over, we got to do a meet and greet. We waved as the kids walked by and gave high fives and the sort. I loved seeing their faces light up when your eyes met theirs. So sweet.
After the second show, one of the girls in my group, Emerson, said a little kid told her our part was their favorite. Day = made.
Yesterday we had our two school performances. This is when everything gets real, push comes to shove, and it’s now or never.
We did our warm up, caked on stage make up, strapped on pointe shoes and waiting in the wings for our turn.
And, wouldn’t you know it, my toe decided to get an ingrown toenail. First time ever. I had tried the pirouette in the wings, but my feet were shaking in a weird way I’ve never had happen before. My brain spaced, and during the performance, I didn’t turn.
Not even on demi.
I did a Releve passe while everyone else turned.
And that wasn’t the only time I screwed up. It was a complete and utter mess. Even one of the other girls said “I thought I was doing bad until I saw you didn’t turn.” Yep. That bad.
The second show had some redemption. I did the turn, but just on demi. My body was wearing down fast and I didn’t want to risk freezing again.
I thought the finale went better, but after rehearsal last night, we still got told we sucked. (Not in those words of course.) Ms Munro went over it with us, so hopefully it all sticks with us tonight.
During the rehearsal, one of the principal dancers seemed to be having a rough go at it. She and her partner missed a few lifts, and there were turn sequences she struggled through but managed to cover well. This isn’t typical for her, either, so I was a little concerned. What was going on?
When the male of the due did his part, some of the other dancers were standing in the wings, joking with each other. I tried to get them to keep their voices down, but it doesn’t work all too often. This is one of my biggest pet peeves; maybe it’s my theater background, maybe it’s that at my old studio no one was allowed to talk in the wings ever. I don’t know. But when it gets to loud I get antsy. Well, the principal dancer turned to them and said, “you can hear your voices on the stage, and it’s actually really distracting.”
And she’s not one to really say anything unless it’s something. She’s not one of those complain about everything types. She only speaks when it’s really something.
And what did the other girls do?
Kept on talking.
I tried asking them to whisper–easy, right? Apparently not. When I tried reiterating what was said about being able to hear them on stage, they flat out said they didn’t care.
I was infuriated.
Have some simple respect. We don’t need you here, this is a privilege to get to do this. Have some common courtesy and keep the noise level down.
I almost apologized to the dancer, but I felt it would be empty since my apology won’t get them to keep it down. As I was leaving the theater, I saw ms munro. I told her what happened and what was said. She was a little upset she didn’t know sooner to say something at critiques, but I didn’t have a chance to tell her sooner. Hopefully she says something. We have been told in rehearsals before that if a principle tells you something, it goes. Hopefully today goes better than yesterday and no one is childishly bitter at me.
Let’s preface this post with the knowledge that almost as soon as I got to the theater, something found it’s way into my right eye, causing it to tear up, my nose to congest, and my eye to turn red and remain irritated throughout the night.
This rehearsal was shortened a little due to the school performances that we are doing tomorrow. The show is a little shorter (hence the rehearsal shorter) but it also had a few parts we hadn’t seen yet.
We got to do the entire show in costumes, which really made it feel like the real deal.
I didn’t attempt the pirouette, due to the fact I couldn’t really focus everything I needed since my eye was acting up. The bright stage lights made me feel nauseous and dizzy with all this and it was all I could muster to just keep going.
We haven’t gotten any remarks on our dance the last couple of rehearsals, but we did for the finale. She said it’s still rough, we aren’t together on the last part. We had gotten together to go over the timing backstage before going on, but that end part was real rough; I could tell as it was happening. So we waited out critiques until it was no longer relevant to us, then we all worked on the timing together on the stage until everyone dithered off and the pas de duex needed to rehearse. It took us a couple times, but it made all the difference in the world. I’m really starting to feel better about it. The last time we ran through it, Ms Alex came up to us and said, “Were y’all just working that on your own?” We said, “Yes, ma’am.” and she said, “Good! That is so good!” I asked if we were looking better, if she had gotten to see it, and she said that we were. That it’s showing immense improvement already and if we wanted to run it before show tomorrow to feel free. She seemed really impressed that we took it upon ourselves to figure it out. It made me feel really good, especially after yesterday’s incident. We just really wanted to get it down and look good and together the best we could. I’m glad the practice made a difference!
So, now it’s late. I’m going to bed, hopefully tomorrow I can see out of both eyes. Even more, I hope I can wear both contacts!