Do you ever have those days where you feel defeated and find yourself thinking, “Why do I even do this?”
That was last night for me.
And it wasn’t even that it was necessarily a terrible day, or that rehearsal was horrible. I guess I’m just hard on myself.
It started when I find out the girl I had covered the night before is on crutches. I try not to be super nervous about what’s to come. Company is supposed to be in costume, so I go to put my Act I costume on as we wait to find out who gets to do Swan. Originally, there were upwards of 5 people missing, so we all prepped our swan costumes for Act II just in case.
We didn’t find out until the Act II overture is playing who would be whom. We have so little time to get all the details of the show worked out, including set pieces and props and blocking and spiking and quick change areas and everything that we have to make use of every moment. So we were ready, just in case, and went from there.
Ms. Munro asked who had been doing the spot, then asked who were the girls behind her. (The two behind the four in that one formation.) I told her it was Abarrane and Adrienne. She shouted for Adrienne, found her, and we discussed how we could switch Adrienne and Lauren’s spot for that duet part.
I was absolutely thrilled and relieved. I knew I couldn’t do that part justice. I knew Adrienne is more than capable. She is an absolutely incredible and beautiful dancer, and more than capable of doing the part. This was honestly best case scenario for this situation. We are the back up plan, in case Lauren isn’t able to dance, but we are hopeful that she can get off the crutches in time.
I gave Adrienne a crash course on the duet, confusing her a little on the tour jetes (sorry, boo) and asked her what line she goes to and we went for it.
Adrienne blew it out of the water. I was so beyond incredibly proud. She had never run the part in her life, was just told the combo and a vague explanation of the weird timing. Ms. Munro was very pleased, and I was so so so proud.
I got a correction on the runs again. I’ve tried picking them apart and trying to understand them, but I just can’t seem to do it correctly. I am really frustrated with myself, because they shouldn’t be this difficult, and I don’t think it shows that I’m trying. I’m extra frustrated, because this is one of those details that bother the crap out of me when they’re done wrong. I feel like such a hypocrite, but I don’t know what to do to understand them. A few of the other dancers helped me try to understand them and correct them, but they’re still rough. I don’t know if it’s the fact that my shank is so thick on the part of the shoe I should be running on, or what, but regardless, it doesn’t matter. I should be able to do this.
My arches felt like they were on fire and I was rather stumbly yesterday. I couldn’t seem to get firm footing anywhere. I didn’t fall over, so that’s a plus, but I was once again super mad at myself.
We moved on to Act III, which is where I have the costume with the giant hoop skirt. Mrs. Jane, our fabulous costume lady, suggested I use the quick change area in the green room so it has more space and she can help me get out of the hoop. It worked so well that I was actually one of the first people dressed and ready. I hadn’t done Act IV in a long time, so I was a bit rusty, but managed to get into the right place and figure it all out. This is the Act where we have tons of runs and bourrees, but I love this Act because it’s so pretty. My shoes decided it was the perfect time to die, and my ankle was trying to roll when I tried to push through it, and I could feel the bruise on my big toe and the nail cracking. I decided, “Screw it. I have new shoes I can sew for tomorrow, but this isn’t worth the risk.” Well, Ms. Munro saw me go to demi for those few counts and corrected me on it. I told her my shoes died and I’ll have the new pair sewn for the next rehearsal. She had this look on her face like she was immensely disappointed in me. I felt crushed. I felt like I failed. And like, I don’t blame her for anything or anything; everything she has said is accurate, it’s all things I need to fix and work on. I’m just mad at myself that I’m not better. Why is it that everyone else can get these things and I can’t? Why do I suck at something as simple as running? Why did I decide to come down to demi instead of doing really lame bourrees in releve, even though they were really lame and terrible? I’m proud of how far I’ve come, but disappointed in myself because I should be farther.
I’m YouTube-ing ballet runs to try and figure out how to do this so I can show that I’m not just blowing her off or being disrespectful or not trying or anything. I have to remember to get to my highest demi, and point my toes as I run, but not have my weight too far back or forward. I’m also a little nervous it’ll break my new shoes in the wrong place. The pair I had on last night were completely broken where that demi hits. So much so that when I take them off, they bend the opposite direction. I also separated the shank from the shoe for the first time ever, so that was something. I’m gonna look into a longer shank, and if that would be beneficial at all.
I forgot to eat last night, so I woke up sick this morning. I’m hoping it doesn’t screw me over for rehearsal. I really want to do well. I don’t want to be the clear struggler.
Pray for me, y’all.
Started ballet late October of 2011 at the age of 23.
Began pointe training late August of 2013.