There’s never been a time that I actually seriously considered giving up ballet.
That is, until this weekend.
I was going to write this blogpost this weekend, but I wasn’t sure how much I actually wanted to say. And, even though very few people read this, I feel I owed it to y’all to at least say something.
But how much? How honest do I get? What is reserved for my journal, and what is acceptable to put here? I’m sure most people would say I’m over reacting or that it was probably better than I thought, but at this point I really don’t think so.
The audition was rough. I was nervous going into it since I was dancing with the 5s instead of the 4s, and the 5s have the 6s and beyond with them, where as the 4s have the 2s and 3s. There is a substantial difference in level as the 4s audition favors to the younger ones and the 5s audition favors to the older ones. (I could take time to explain this, but that’s exhausting so just go with it.)
I’ve kind of noticed that I have been struggling a little with simple things like rolling down out of an arabesque and things I used to actually be pretty good at, but I didn’t think too much into it. I figured I was just nervous or scared or out of sync since Nutcracker. I told myself I would figure it out and work through it as we began learning our recital piece which is when I really started noticing. Maybe my shoes were dead. The box feels good, but it could be dead in other places, right?
I tried to go into the audition confident. The mind can do more than the body, right? I signed up at the same time as my friend and we were next to each other and I felt I would be fine. I’ve been sick for two weeks with God-knows-what so breathing was kind of hard, but I pressed through.
Barre was good
I felt good.
I got this, right?
Well then we did a few things that were character pieces. I haven’t done jazz in seven years, so I was a little rough compared to these girls who take the classes on the regular, but it was fun anyway and I tried to play it off. I was kind of frustrated, because I knew I could have done better, but whatever. Do my best, right?
Then we put on our shoes.
I tried to psych myself up and not just let doubt rule me from the beginning. I ran through the tips my friend had given me at Nutcracker about turns and had a flinch of panic that I hadn’t done a pirouette since then. (All we’ve had for recital so far is a pique turn.) It should be noted that I was number 79, and the numbers started at 73, thus putting me in the first 10 people. So I was in the first group when we did it in tens and the second when we did it in fives.
The combinations were all things I could do on flat. (Except the brisse, which almost no one knew anyway so I didn’t feel too badly.) My brain could do it all, but boy did I struggle. They would have simple things mixed in with things I struggled with (which should have been simple) which would then throw me off and I’d struggle to get back on track.
I tried my hardest. I really did. But all in all, I ended up leaving really embarrassed. There were even a few points toward the end of the two-and-a-half hour audition where I was near panic and wanted to just sit it out, but I couldn’t. This is an audition. (This brings me to tears just writing this and remembering how I felt. Dang it.) And it sucked because this time I actually know these people, and they know me, and here I’m pretending to present myself as someone they want when really I know I’m not showing that I have much to offer. It was embarrassing.
I held it together and pretended like it wasn’t as horrible as it was but that almost made it worse. Because no one is going to tell me I bombed it, but no one is denying it either. I tried to tell myself that I’ll just be the person who isn’t perfect that makes everyone else feel a little bit more at ease knowing if they mess it up they won’t be the first and they’re probably better than the girl in the first group who did horribly.
I put on my shoes yesterday and went out into the building my dad is building since I knew he had some concrete sheets on the floor that wouldn’t mess up my shoes and tried to give myself some confidence, but it didn’t really do anything.
Is it my shoes? The wear is going to the far edge of the box. I’m rolling over too far. But is that the shoes or is that me?
What the hell am I doing wrong here? Why is this so difficult?
I used to struggle with getting on my box, but now I’m going too far over my box. What gives?
Maybe my shoes are dead. I can order some new ones and see if that does the trick.
I go online and search Capezio. Okay, they have the Glisse’s, but where are the Glisse Pro ES? Wait. I seem to remember these being on sale a while back. Like, around the time I first got mine. I google-searched.
They’re nowhere to be found.
So then I research the difference between the regular Glisse’s and the Pro ES. It seems to be mainly the hardness of the shank. Apparently I use the hardest shank available. Is that what’s hurting my dancing? Is a hard shank something I actually do need? I had a hard shank with Gaynor Minden’s.
At this point I was clearly at a loss. The shoe fits great but I go too far over my box. I have no one here I can ask and don’t have time nor resources to go anywhere else since it’s all so far away. What do I do?
I decided to make a last ditch effort and emailed Jordan, from the Capezio store in Austin. I don’t know if she’ll respond or even be able to help me, but I didn’t know what else to do.
So, I toyed with the idea of just giving it up.
Who am I kidding?
I dance to feel alive, yes, but what’s the point if I can’t even technically dance because so many things are hindering me, and I just leave feeling deflated? What’s the point if it makes me feel this badly?
It makes me wish people didn’t know I danced or about the audition so they weren’t asking me how it went because I can’t even pretend this went well. At this point, I’m not even sure I’ll get cast and if I do I’m sure it’ll be with the younger girls. Which is fine, but dang I really wanted to do better than I did. I can do better, but I can’t seem to. Which makes no sense except that it does.
So, there you have it.
My disastrous audition.
We get results within the week, supposedly.
And for reference, here’s what my feet looked like in my shoes yesterday.
(Please ignore the untucked ribbons, etc. I was by myself and it’s hard to take a picture of your own feet in sous sous.
Started ballet late October of 2011 at the age of 23.
Began pointe training late August of 2013.