Last night, I only had one dance to rehearse for Saturday’s recital performance. I would have only had dances on Friday, but the Advanced dances are both nights, so I have the Advanced Ballet, which had it’s rehearsal yesterday.
I sharpied my shoes, remembered my black tights for the costume, and was ready to go.
I got there super early and watched the other dances ahead of mine. We were relatively on time this go through, so that was nice. I really liked the dances I saw yesterday. They were clean and the dancers were showcased well. I didn’t see all of them, mind, but the ones I did were lovely.
And the little kids are absolutely adorable. As always.
I hung out in the audience with a couple of my friends and one of the little dancers. I know her Dad from my old job, and had met her before. She is so cute and makes any day brighter. And her giggles melt hearts.
I went up and got ready for our piece about 15 minutes before we had to be on. Plenty of time as I just had to put on the costume and lipstick. We figured out the complicated belt thing, (Thanks, Alexis!) put our shoes on, and headed downstairs. I was still early, so I went to the sound booth where my friend Andie was and talked to her a second as I did some releves to warm up my feet. Before the second run through of the dance before ours, I asked Adrienne for some help on one part, and then we went back stage to wait for our turn.
We walked it once to get the spacing right, got the light cues going, and ran the last part before going for it.
I know someone said it, but I don’t think we truly realized how slick sharpied shoes are. We were all slippin’ and sliding, trying to adjust to having the wings to run in and out of, compensating for the bigger space, and still remember the dance steps and in order and at the right timing now that we couldn’t see each other.
Real Talk: I struggled. Hard.
It’s one thing to do it in our studio, it’s another entirely on this stage, with these costumes, and so fast.I tried my best to do it all, and to do it en pointe, but it just wasn’t happening. I literally stepped on one girl, then was on top of her at one point, and always seemed to be a half count behind on everything. I looked like I had no idea what I was doing, though I know the steps well. I just kept going, doing what I could, hoping I was blending in enough for no one to notice. I smacked one of the guys twice, and almost kicked another girl. Nearly rolled my ankle (thanks for dying, shoes) and at the end of the dance, I actually fell. Hard. Then with the windows in our tutus, I got caught in them trying to get up. It was a hot mess and we couldn’t help but laugh our faces off at how ridiculous it all was. We ran it again and got a bit better. I was able to do the ending better–and without falling–but my knee was hurting pretty decently. There’s a nice welt there now with a pretty decent bruise, and it’s slightly to the left of where I have nerve damage. (The spot that was touched in Nutcracker rehearsals, which caused me to not be able to dance well the next day from the pain it caused.) I was nervous that would happen again today when I have the three dances to do. Thankfully, it didn’t, but the knot that’s formed may get nasty as we are on the floor and we kneel quite a bit. Ugh. I kneel on that leg for a while in Ballet V’s. This will be fun.
My whole body hurts to an extent, but not as badly as I thought it would. Still reminds me that I am, indeed, an adult, and getting older sucks in this aspect. Still, worse things have happened to dancers who have had to carry on. It’s not enough to take me out so I’m grateful for that. And I wasn’t the only one to fall. I saw a IV’s ballet dancer fall (And get right back up so you hardly even saw it, except that I was watching her specifically in the moment.) and one of the other VI’s was dropped. It’s almost as though yesterday was Friday the 13th instead of today.
I was thoroughly embarrassed to have fallen. I had even made sure I was warm, and tried a few things I wasn’t sure about while we were waiting, yet I still got chewed for not being warm and being unsure. It was general, but eye contact was made and held. I was frustrated and mad at myself, because I know I did what I needed to do, yet I was still being reprimanded. But it doesn’t do to make excuses. This is one of the hardest things for me. I want people to have full understanding so the wrong taste of me doesn’t linger in their mouths. But that’s out of my control. People will make opinions of you and keep them and there really isn’t anything you can do about it. I’m just nervous this will screw me for casting next year. But all of that is out of my hands. This year was the big year, next year will be good no matter what happens. There’s no one set thing really in mind or in grasp. I have hopes for Nutcracker, but they’re logical hopes. It should be well within reach for me. I’m not really worried. I plan to keep working hard over the summer to keep improving.
Thankfully, no one seemed to see that I had fallen. I felt like an idiot for all the freak out things I said afterwards. I’d never fallen on stage before, and only once before in class and that was at my old studio. I had forgotten to be afraid of falling. Yet I did. On stage. In front of everyone.
I have to move forward. I’m seeing about getting black flats (thanks Andie) and doing it in flat shoes. It was a bit over-ambitious to think I could do it en pointe. I know I’m capable, but I hadn’t done it in class en pointe. I’m more confident not having to think about what my feet are doing and I feel I’ll be able to make the piece look nicer if I do it in shoes I’m used to. (Plus, Mrs. Julie already said it was okay if I did it in flat shoes.)
I want to be proud of what I do in this dance, not hanging my head that I tried and failed. I tried. I admit defeat. No one will notice if I do it in flat, but they’d notice if I was behind or messed up or fell. I don’t want to make the dance fall down a notch because I’m being stubborn.
I ended up taking pictures in my costume, which I’ve never done at this studio. My parents don’t really care, but then they ask for a picture of just me in costume, so I got some yesterday and they can send them to Grandma and my Aunt Mo or whoever. (they seem to think it’s cool, hehe) I wasn’t happy with them at first and was a bit down on myself for thinking I could take one that looked decent. Then the girl there helping helped me out and we got a good shot. I was truly grateful. Slightly embarrassed, but it was just a long day.
The VI’s Jazz has to be one of my favorite dances. They were last of the night, and it just makes me so happy.
Tonight is our first show. Ms. Munro said falling is good luck, and it means you’ll return to that stage, so she said for me it means I’ll dance next year. So that’s encouraging at least.
This post is a rather choppy account of yesterday’s events. I know I’m missing some fun memories in this, but my brain is kinda fried.
Anyway, have some pictures
Started ballet late October of 2011 at the age of 23.
Began pointe training late August of 2013.