Sometimes I take a step back and think about how much I love being able to dance like I do right now. I get lost in thoughts of the future and plans on how I hope to improve and where I want to be as the years pass on.
Then I remember.
I’ll be twenty-seven this year.
I could be married and have kids in the next few years.
Not that this is anywhere in the foreseeable future, but my life has a funny way of changing at the drop of a hat.
What would I do then?
How can I expect to get into a relationship if I’m dancing three days a week and up to six during rehearsal season, which happens twice a year?
I think about my adult ballet friends who are married and some have kids and see how they have successfully managed it.
But they are way farther along than me. They had been dancing a decade or two before that happened, whereas I’ll hit year four this October, making a vast difference in my ability to come back if I decide to.
Who’s to say that whoever I end up with won’t be supportive of this addiction of mine? He very well could be. I won’t know until he’s around. But at the same time I’m not going to cut my pursuits of dance short in anticipation of something that may or may not happen.
Then I think about how much I love where I am. I think of all the great people I get to dance with–those at my level and above/below me–and the friendships I’m making and how much it makes my heart so happy. And I think of how all of those things could change in an instant as well–someone could move (as one of the girls already is this summer) or could have to stop dancing because or responsibilities or could get pregnant and have to take a hiatus or could get injured (as we’ve seen with my dear friend whose been out for a few months but thankfully will be back soon!!) or a number of other things. I’ve already been at a studio that closed, so I know abrupt and life changing things are always possible. But I also know that even though these may not be my favorite thing to happen, that I’ll figure out a way to deal and manage as they come.
I guess that’s part of the reason why I try not to take a single class or rehearsal for granted. So often dancers think there’s all the time in the world for this and specifically lately I’ve seen some of the girls really antsy to leave rehearsals and get this show over with, often counting down to the exact minute that we get out of rehearsal. It makes me sad, because sure, more than likely we will have more shows and more opportunities and more roles to learn and perform, but whose to say we’re that lucky? And even if so, we’ll never have this show with this group of people ever again. Chances are, we won’t be around long enough to see this show done again (save for The Nutcracker) and even if so, more than likely we won’t be this role.
And every role is important. Without each of them, the show would be incomplete. It may not be the most glamorous or admirable role, but it is part of the make up of the story, and if it wasn’t there, the story would be incomplete. It’s our job to make the roles believable to help tell this story and make the audience glad they came, not able to read our insecurities or attitudes all over our faces.
You only get one shot at right now.
Once it’s over, you don’t get it back.
I would sure hate to live what I have with only half my heart and lose it all, only to look back with regret.
If you’re dancing and feel like you’re at a point where you just don’t feel too alive with it anymore, take a step back and find a way to remind yourself why you love it.
For me, not just in dance but in all areas of life and in living in general, I do this with kids.
If I ever get rundown or burned out, let me spend time with a 2-12 year old and I’m set.
There’s a light in their eye that reminds you of why you do what you do.
It reminds you of the light that was in your eye that made you pursue this in the first place.
Remind yourself why you love it
And enjoy every step on the road
Cause all roads end, and you don’t want yours to leave you feeling empty.
And whether it does or not is entirely up to you.
(end passionate rant.)
Started ballet late October of 2011 at the age of 23.
Began pointe training late August of 2013.