I have yet to go through all of my pictures from my trip to Europe (I had to get a new hard drive, there are so many…oops…) but when I do, I will post some of the ballet-y ones.
It should be noted that some of the students at the Dutch National Ballet for the summer intensive were staying at the same place as me in Amsterdam. I was freaking out. My friends made fun of me.
WHATEVER FRIENDS YOU DON’T KNOW MY LIFE
Europe was incredible. My mind is blown. Words fail me to explain in short what all my heart absorbed.
(So stay tuned for a few pictures soon.)
Yesterday was my first class back.
I was only gone two weeks, but I was a bit nervous that it would make quite the difference for me. Thankfully, we walked everywhere in Europe, so my arches actually benefited from this, as did my back. (Sitting all day apparently makes it worse.)
I was hopeful, though, since in the past when I’ve had to miss as many classes I tended to come back stronger, more fluid, with a clearer head, whatever you want to call it.
There were only 9 people in class, which felt weird since when I was there we were averaging 19. It makes sense, though, being the last couple weeks of summer. Catherine taught, which felt slightly comforting to me since it was familiar. I knew what to expect out of the class, whether I was capable of doing it or not.
It also helps since she was my teacher last year that she is aware of my back problems and a few other issues, so I don’t have to worry about her getting on to me for something out of my control.
My head felt clearer as we went into the combinations. I messed up a few things at the barre, but nothing drastic. Mostly I was able to keep up and keep time and execute the moves correctly.
It was interesting, being out for a few weeks, then coming back and being able to feel all my muscles engage from the top of my leg/hip all the way down through to my toes. While you’re dancing, you know (or at least hope) this is happening, but you tend to forget about it. You just go through the checklist in your head and do your best. To actually feel what’s happening in your muscles is pretty cool.
As we went through barre, I felt something in my back sort of shift. I don’t really know what it was, and it doesn’t seem to have any lasting effects, but I felt it. And in that moment, it hurt. So I was a bit concerned.
I thought to myself, “Why do I still dance? It’s probably actually not helping the issue. I can’t seem to get past where I am right now. Why do I still do it? I’d have so much more time and money if I just quit.”
But then I remember how vital it has proven to be for my digestion. I remember how alive I feel after a well-danced show. I remember the feeling of that first moment on stage, and the moment of jitters right before. I remember the success you feel as each drop of sweat beads and falls down the side of my face.
I’m struggling right now. I feel very in-between on levels and I’m very uncertain on how this next year will go. I don’t know how I’ll get any better at pirouettes.
But I can’t give up. Not yet.
Maybe I won’t dance forever. Maybe something will happen in the future and I’l have to stop. But why would I stop unless I absolutely had to? As long as it still makes me feel alive, as long as it’s so beneficial, why would I not continue? Something could happen at any moment to change life as I know it, and then I wouldn’t have a choice. But as long as I have the choice, how could I not choose it? What if I quit, and then something drastic happened, making it never to be a choice again? I’d have all this time wasted, never to be achieved again.
I can’t do that again.
So I keep going. Until I’m not getting what I need, I will endure. It may face some changes, but I’ll persevere. I owe it to myself.