This weekend is our last weekend of rehearsals.
Tuesday begins “Selena Week,” the week of rehearsals in the Selena Auditorium theater we perform in. We were off last weekend because of Fesrival, so now it’s crunch time.
It seems that people are getting hurt and sick now, which is really unfortunate. One girl hurt her quad, another her toe, another her ankle, another her back, and another was just out sick. Three of the girls had to sit out, so covers were in their places.
I’m not gonna lie, today made me feel on top of the world. Getting to do the swan acts in costume, doing this ballet I’ve worked for weeks on, surrounded by the people I love. It was so fulfilling. Plus, I was able to give my phone to one of the girls who had to sit out and she got the picture I really wanted. So now I have a picture of me in a scene with both of my dear friends. I wish I would have known so I could have told my mom to come watch, but that’s okay. I was able to get a picture of me in the costume for her and she’s pretty happy about it.
(Okay, I’ll post it here.)
Some of the girls told us how much respect they have for us covers, cause they realize how difficult it must be to be someone different each week. It’s really nice to hear such compliments from our peers.
One of them who ended up injured came up to me after we ran Act IV the first time and told me, “okay, I was watching you, and you are such a beautiful swan.” She went on to tell me what it was like for her to get to watch it and how she felt, and she said it with such passion, you knew it wasn’t something she was just telling me to make me feel good. I can’t tell you what that means to me.
I was the cover for one of the more advanced girls, including her more advanced part. I had done it before as her partner, so having to invert it was a bit difficult. But the girl covering her partner and I kept timing pretty well together, even if we were off the music. Hehe. I felt like I was doing a pretty rough job of it, but at least I knew the direction of where she was supposed to be and could make it easier on everyone else that way; having someone in the space.
But even though I felt like I looked really rough, that’s not what my friend saw. She didn’t see “Emilee, the cover.” She saw, “Emilee, the swan.”
After we finished Act I, we were putting on our shoes for Act II while Ms Munro was talking to the younger ones. I saw one of them watching me from a sort of side glance as I wrapped my toes in tape, got my toe pads situated, put on my shoes, and tied my ribbons. She’s a sweet little one who works her hardest in every class and rehearsal. To her, I wasn’t the cover. I wasn’t the reject. I wasn’t lesser. I was the big kid, the girl in the pointe shoes that she aspires to be. I was something. I was a swan.
Moments like these are what make all of these rough and exhausting days worth it. I cherish them.
When I was standing in the back during one of the Acts, I was able to watch one of the “older girls” during one of the roles she has. She was smiling and working her very hardest. She was nearly glowing. It didn’t look like she had done this day after day, enough to be sick of it. It looked so natural to her.
On top of that, you’d never know the pain she was actually in. You would never know about all the different things she has to push through.
So many times, people will sit out at the slightest things. Now this is clearly conditionally, and I’m not talking about the people who know to listen to their bodies and not push too hard to make things worse. But there’s those few that will push through, come to rehearsal, show up and show out. And I have the utmost respect for them. Along with the ones who are hurt and do have to sit out, but still come to rehearsal to be present, to be aware of changes, to help whoever is in their spot, to still be involved.
As I stood there, watching this one girl dance her little heart out, I loved knowing that she was the first person to talk to me when I came to this studio. That the sweet heart I saw that day is the true person she is deep down inside. I also believe it shows in her dancing.
Today left me feeling satisfied. I’m exhausted and it feels so good. The costume wasn’t a waste and if I never get to dance the role of swans again, I am okay with that.
Here are some more pictures.
Started ballet late October of 2011 at the age of 23.
Began pointe training late August of 2013.