We had our first Swan Lake rehearsal today.
When we got there, seven girls were missing, one of whom was also a cover, which left us four covers with six spots to fill. We sort of went by height, and then just left the other two spots for later.
I was the cover for my friend Adrienne, since she is one of the tallest.
It went really well, and I think we learned a good chunk of the swan bit. I wouldn’t say it was all that hard, but definitely takes immense stamina and dedication with attention to detail. It’s not for the faint of heart.
The swans are all–obviously–part of the corps, but there are many different variations of corps work among it. Being the cover is turning out to be quite the endeavor. There are parts that are just mirrored on each other, then depending on if you’re stage right or stage left with determine which leg to begin on. Of course, Adrienne wasn’t part of that. she was in the back of the middle, which had the different bit. What’s more is that she is part of a section that consists of just her and one other dancer. It’s not really a solo since they’re all dancing at the same time, but it is different from everyone else.
Chances are once I teach this to Adrienne, I’ll never have to learn it again. So I had one of the girls in the middle part teach me the different part they learned. Of course, I didn’t retain it as well, but at least I get the gist of it. I also had one of the girls on the sides show me what it is they do so at least I’m exposed to it and if I’m thrown in one of those spots, it won’t be completely foreign.
I asked my friend who owns the DVD from our last production if I can borrow it so I can learn all the different sections, just in case.
Ps. Two of the girls that were missing showed up late, so the one went in her spot and the cover went in the other.
I sewed my Gaynor’s just in case we had to do pointe today, though I doubted we did. I put them on after rehearsal to get a picture for a friend who couldn’t be there, and then showed them to Mrs. Alex. Ms. Munro ended up coming over as well, so we discussed my feet and my shoes and how my knee doesn’t hurt, even after this rehearsal, and why I don’t do jumps in Julie’s class, and Ms. Munro agreed to not do grand plie’s and all that. Mrs. Alex even said these shoes made my feet look better. I don’t want them to cause me to be lazy, but it definitely is nice having the extra support in keeping my arch where it needs to be.
We are a bit concerned about the sizing on them, since my big toe literally hits the end and feels like it’s being pushed hard enough to make the knuckle bend, but Gaynor’s are supposed to give a bit with wear, so we’re going to see how that goes.
After assisting class on Friday, I was talking with a friend who also teaches at the studio. She told me, very gently and tactfully, that she thought my shoes held me back at auditions. I told her about the fitting earlier this week and how I got Gaynor’s, and she agreed that they sounded like the best option. She has similar issues and was able to give me even more insight on how to help with it.
I swear, if it wasn’t for my dance friends, I don’t know if I would be able to keep dancing. Their advice and input and support has literally been everything.
I’m pretty exhausted after today. Didn’t help that my body still hates me and food isn’t really my friend. I’m at a loss of what else to do about it.
I decided that on the days I get to rehearse for swans, I will tell myself, “You are a swan.” It helps me be more into it when we actually do it, rather than just feel like the title of “cover” is looming over me. I have no idea what the future holds. There is a very real possibility that I can do all this work and never get to dance it. There is also a possibility that one of the other covers could get it over me. I don’t know. I try not to think about it. I’m going to move on and keep going and do my best, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still hurt to think about. But, it also doesn’t mean I need to talk about it. I feel stupid mentioning it at all anymore. Like maybe people aren’t telling me everything and maybe I’m not as good as I think I am.
One of my teachers told me today to not take missing out on this role as a sign that I’m not good. She said that there’s probably more playing into it, and it may not be fair to me, but that it’s part of the deal. I don’t know how much of that is true, but you almost can’t help but believe that it is. Reality is, it’s a small town, and this non profit runs on money that I may not bring in simply because I’m older, I don’t have super loaded friends or tons of family dying to pay loads of money to see me dance.
My reality is that each day there’s another reminder of how much I wanted this, slapping me in the face, showing me I missed the mark. No one really knows what all is going on on the inside. But honestly, I don’t think that’s for anyone but me to know.
What good would it do to share that with anyone anyway? No one can change things. All I can do now is work my butt off and hope it’s not for nothing.
And limit my crying.
And not get overwhelmed as work starts getting more intense.