This morning I woke up feeling anxious.
I couldn’t shake it. One of the girls even mentioned before barre that I didn’t seem myself. I found myself fighting off panic attacks at the barre and it only escalated into rehearsal.
I bit my lip until it cracked and dug my nails into my side until someone distracted me with a question. Thankfully. Because I’m sure I would have broken skin without even thinking.
That’s something people don’t know or realize about me, I guess. The darkness of my past. It typically stays there, but sometimes it can creep back into the present and the fight is exhausting.
Today was one of those days.
Only one girl wasn’t there, and another one wasn’t feeling well so she sat out. Ms Munro had girls who hadn’t run it go in so I was marking it from the sidelines. It wasn’t all that bad, like no worse than usual at least. Part of me was grateful to not have to be “on” but the other part of me knows that I don’t have the luxury of getting to be off. Not right now.
I really appreciated one of the moms coming up and encouraging me. I had really gotten inside my head at that point. Why am I here? Why do I even try? What is the point of it all if I work my hardest and nothing comes of it? Who am I kidding? If I’m not good enough now what makes me think I will be later? Whose to say I’ll even have a later? I was so beyond frustrated and I hated myself for it. The battle was real, and the “dark place” was rampant. But she came up and encouraged me without even realizing what she was doing. Well, part of it I’m sure she did. But really, I was so grateful.
I don’t want to be this way. I don’t want to be upset or frustrated or bitter or anything. I just want to dance.
After that point, I stood there and asked myself some questions.
Why am I upset? Because I didn’t get to be a swan.
Yeah but you’re still in Swan Lake. Yeah, but I wanted to be good enough to be this role.
Okay but you can’t change anything now. So what are you going to do about it? Well. I’m gonna work hard and do my best.
Cause really. Why am I here? What drives me to show up every day, even if I’m not a swan? I do it because I love dance, I love the art form. I love getting to be here and try new things and learn and grow. And aren’t I getting to do that still?
I get out of this what I put into it. And sure it sucks that some of the other girls don’t even bother to show up or put in effort. But Mrs Alex is right–I’d rather be a good person than a stellar dancer. At least dance is something you can work to improve upon.
So it can really suck being a cover. It’s hard and exhausting and really emotional. But it’s what I am. It’s what I signed up for. And I made a commitment. I don’t want to go back on that just because the cards didn’t fall in my favor. That would be immature. Now my goal is to be the one they can count on. To do everything I can to know the parts so I can be relied upon should anything happen. I want to put a good taste in their mouth, make their jobs easier.
Even if I don’t get to dance swan, I can still tell them a lot of my character by my actions.
They had swan fittings after. We didn’t have to be there but I was to wait for my friend who is a swan. It was cool getting to see them all together. The costumes are gorgeous. I really am proud of how good it’s looking and how well they’re really coming together. I got to actually watch it today. It’s really neat.
Here’s a few before class.