This weekend marked the 16th annual Bailando Dance Festival at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi.
It’s, I believe, my 3rd year to attend. My old dance teacher from Instep, Jilissa produces it and it’s hosted by the Corpus Christi Concert Ballet with TAMUCC. There’s three nights of performances, and master classes on Friday and Saturday. The performances on Thursday and Friday are adjudicated based on their choreography and the favorites are put through to the Gala performance on Saturday. Its a great opportunity for choreographers to learn and grow and get insight on how to broaden their thinking.
This years performances were amongst some of the best we’ve seen.
I get to take pictures of the performances and classes, which is really cool. It’s also great because I get to sit in on bits of every class, even if it’s not a style I’m particularly versed in. I learn a lot, and I’m really grateful for it.
I got to take a couple classes on Saturday, the Beginner/Intermediate Ballet with Orlando Julius Canova and the Intermediate/Advanced with Mel Glouchkova.
They were the first classes of the morning, so there weren’t too many people in them. I was glad to take the class and to get corrections from these people who don’t see me every day. On top of that, it was great getting a compliment on something I never knew if I did correctly or not. Orlando told me to watch as to not overcross in my ronde de jambes when they go back, which I never realized I did, so I was able to really watch and think about controlling it better. He also told me to keep my right shoulder down. I figured it was from the back being crooked, one leg longer thing, but I never really noticed how drastic it is. You can actually see it. I tried thinking about keeping that shoulder down, which is actually kind of difficult. The alignement helps me, but its as though my right shoulder is perpetually shrugged a bit. Working to get it even was actually a bit uncomfortable, so I’m not sure if it’s something I should actively attempt to fix or if that would make things worse.
I wish I knew if this could or would ever be fixed or if this is something I just have to deal with the rest of forever. Or even what the heck caused it. All of these things seem to still be up in the air.
There were moments I felt sort of stupid in his class, but I tried to just let it roll off my shoulders. I felt awkward and got a bit embarrassed, but as long as you play it off no one seems to remember. So, whatever.
It was a great class.
Mel’s class was a little more on the advanced side, which I appreciated. She had us do a lot of direction changes, which threw everyone off a bit, but once I got the hang of it, I got it. I struggled a bit in this class, but I think my brain was a bit off for handling it. Still, I tried, and I liked it. I only did barre in her class since I did the full thing in Orlando’s–jumps and all–and my knee was over it. I’m hoping removing the fluid will help and that we can get that done soon. Why is my body so complicated?
I took pictures of the rest of the class, and watching helped solidify the combinations that I struggled with, so that was nice. There were a few things I wanted to work on at home if I can remember them. Maddie came to this class, which made me really happy to have someone from my studio there with me. 🙂
Overall, the event ran really smoothly. I brought Jilissa the “Leslie treatment” (A big Fiji water and a bag of Reese’s) and she hugged me so tight, which was cool. I love getting to help out (we got staff shirts this year!) and knowing that Jilissa can breathe a little easier knowing she can leave me to handle things when she has to be somewhere else makes me feel really good. I’m glad I wasn’t in the way.
At the beginning of the Gala, Jilissa and some others came out and greeted everyone as well as thanking the people who made it possible. She had the choreographers stand up and I saw Ms. Lori was there!! I was so excited I could literally feel my heart getting lighter. Jilissa kept looking in my direction while she spoke to where I wondered if she could actually see me. I tried to keep my face pleasant and encouraging to help give a good audience vibe when she then asks me and the other volunteers to stand up. (By name. She thanked me by name. In front of everyone.) I was in the third row from front so I don’t know who else was there. I didn’t know what to do with my hands or anything, and never really know how to handle those sort of things, but she’s never done that before. Even before that, she seemed really grateful to have me there. It was nice, especially considering she had plenty of people helping without me. Then to have her personally thank me, it was just so nice of her. I love Jilissa so much and have a great respect for her.
At intermission, I was able to go and say hi to Ms Lori before she left back for Austin. She asked about all the girls and told me to send her love and asked about Nutcracker. She was so excited to hear I was Rat Queen, which meant the world to me. She is truly a wonderful person, and I consider myself extremely fortunate to have her in my life, even when she’s far away.
Ms. Munro was sitting next to her and introduced me to a man with her. She then went on to tell him how helpful I was and how much the younger ones love me and all these other really kind things. I’m standing there like, what? compliments? what is life? what do I do with my face? Do I say thank you? Here, have a sarcastic comment because I don’t know what else to do. And it was really nice.
I’m thoroughly exhausted, but my heart is full. I was sad to see this Bailando end. I got to see Abby and met some new friends from Concert Ballet, Frances and Clara, who are both going to be Clara in their Nutcracker. If I don’t have rehearsal I’m going to go see it. 🙂
Here’s a few pictures from the weekend!