We had our second Crows rehearsal on Friday.
I wasn’t expecting all of the girls to be there, since one of them told me she wouldn’t be able to make it, but they all showed up. We were able to teach the two girls who had missed last time the dance and changed up one part (which added this funny floppy-fish move which is kind of awesome) to make it flow better.
Since I’m just the cover, I did everything behind the other girls. It was awkward for me because this was my first experience covering, so I asked a lot of stupid questions, but I honestly just didn’t know. Ms Julie is really patient and understanding and amazing, so she didn’t make me feel stupid for my questions at all, which was really nice.
We ran it and ran it and tried to perfect it and got a little better each time. It is such a fun dance, I enjoy getting to be a part. Ms. Jane had finished the costumes so we were able to try them on to make sure they fit, and it is probably the best costume I’ve ever worn. (I also made her laugh with a boob joke. So, there’s that. I love Ms. Jane.)
After rehearsal was over, I asked Ms. Julie if she wanted me there for the Crows pictures or not. I figured that the covers usually didn’t take the picture with the cast dancers, but it’s a good deal before my Winkie Guard picture so I wanted to be sure. It wasn’t close enough to play off and show up early just in case. I almost didn’t ask, but I figured, “Why the heck not?” I’m new anyway, right? I’ve already asked stupid questions. Why not ask another?
She was sitting next to Ms. Munro, and so she got this soft look on her face and turned to Ms. Munro and said, “Well, I don’t know what we normally do? Are covers in the picture?
To which Ms. Munro replied, “Normally not, but, do you have a costume? You do, right?”
To which I said, “Yes, ma’am. Ms. Jane had enough material left over and made one in case I have to fill in for someone shorter. Don’t want to get caught unprepared.”
Then Ms. Munro said, “Well I don’t see why not. You’ve been doing extremely well, all of our covers have been picking up on their dances and working really hard.”
Then the subject kind of switched over to scheduling, because four of the six girls have something going on with the same school extracurricular activity that I thought they were missing that rehearsal for. (It ended up only being Saturday they missed.) Ms. Julie says, “This is why covers are so important; for traveling. That’s how I ended up getting my start. I was a cover and we were traveling and we lost a dancer so they put me in. Covers are so important and it’s a big responsibility to have to jump in on a moments notice. We don’t cast them lightly. And they are all doing so well; you may think we don’t see it but all your hard work doesn’t go unnoticed.”
Then Ms. Munro pipes up, “That’s it! You’ve earned it! You’re in the picture!”
And my little heart melts and explodes at the same time.
I almost cried when I got cast as this role, because I thought I just solidified my fate at how horrible I am at the audition. The fact that I got cast as two different things–even if one was just a cover–blew my mind. I was included, I was seen. Then I heard a comment that made me wonder if I was just put as the cover as a have-to. Because I’m a IV/V, and all the other IV/V’s have two roles, too, and I’m not an actual role–I’m just a cover. Maybe it was just to meet the two-role quota. I tried to encourage myself that it could have been worse and that being given this opportunity was a big responsibility, but in the back of my mind I remembered being the fill in during advanced at my old studio and how when someone dropped they didn’t put me in, they just reblocked. I wasn’t good enough. I failed. Maybe they were seeing it as a way to fill the quota and a fairly easy risk since chances are I won’t have to dance and then crisis averted.
I wanted to prove to them I could do it. I wanted to work hard to show them it wasn’t a mistake trusting me with this role. I want to be prepared just in case something does happen I don’t embarrass myself or make everything else look bad. I didn’t want to falter in the trust given to me. So I worked hard, even though I don’t really have much to work with to be able to practice. I kicked walls running through blocking in the bathroom, I pulled a muscle sneaking in a practice in the warehouse at work. I went over the steps in my mind until they were solid, mentally thinking through every step and how it transitions and pouring over the details so I could approach this confidently even though every bit of this is out of my comfort zone because I know confidence does more than talent can ever do alone.
And it was worth it.
Even if I don’t get to dance it, even if rehearsals is all I ever see of this dance, even if I don’t get to feel the swish of the dress at my knees on stage, I get to be in the picture.
And even if something happens and they don’t make enough head pieces and I have to not be in the picture or something, I would be a little sad, but that would be okay, because I got all the validation I need.
They said I earned it.
That bit of happenings meant more to me than I could ever explain or express.
Now I’m itching to work hard and continue to improve.
I wish I could afford to dance more, but I am grateful for rehearsals. Even just having that, I can see improvement.
I am hopeful.
Started ballet late October of 2011 at the age of 23.
Began pointe training late August of 2013.