I wasn’t sure if I would get to post a blog with this title.
Yet, here I am, albeit very different from years past.
I hadn’t been in the downtown studio since the “great flood of 2017.” It’s known by many other names, most of which I won’t name here. Essentially, there was a really heavy rain back in June that inundated the sewers and flooded downtown in a few different ways. Our studio fell victim, and we ended up having to replace the floors and much of the furniture. Two rooms were spared, though we aren’t sure how. (No costumes were harmed.)
The new floor is incredible. Perfectly sprung and smooth, the creaky floors we used to know are now gone, and the different holes and divets have been removed and replaced.
It made me wish even more that I was able to dance the roles I could have had if my body wasn’t rejecting me, knowing that pirouettes would be perfection on this floor. On the same side of that coin, I am so grateful to be back in the company studio, a place that has begun to feel more like home than I ever expected. Especially since so much of what I know to be familiar has been destroyed or broken beyond repair, having these studios be exactly as I know them to be (or in this case, better, but with the essentials the same) has been good for my soul.
Much is different, though; I’m no longer considered company, many of my friends have graduated and aren’t there, I’m rehearsing with adults, some of whom have been doing this role since I was the age of the youngest party girls. I’m not in program pictures, the costumes actually fit me without alteration because they’re made for adult bodies, rehearsals are shorter and less than what I’ve been used to, dressing rooms will be different.
Yet, I’m still here. I’m still involved. I’m still getting to do something I love so much, in spite of the blows my health has thrown at me. I still get to put on a costume, get on stage, and perform. To say I’m grateful is such an understatement.
I have two party girls in my “family”, both of which are two of my “babies.” It makes me so happy getting to do this role with two of the younger girls that have already stolen a piece of my heart. I’m so excited.
We aren’t allowed to take pictures of rehearsals, but if I could have, I definitely would have gotten a picture from my perspective during the end of the scene when all the party girls dance a part with Clara. The girl that was running Clara that time is one of my assistants, and also has a piece of my heart. I’ve heard her tell me how she used to look up to the older girls, and how now she’s the older girl, and how she wants to be nice to the younger ones since she remembers what it was like. And I saw it. There was this moment where it hit me like a semi-truck loaded down with emotion. These younger girls, watching this beautiful, confident older girl, doing the same moves she was doing, but as different roles, in different shoes. Their eyes alight with the dreams of doing what she’s doing, her memories reflected in theirs as she truly lived in the moment.
And this was just a rehearsal.
I don’t cry, but if I did I would have been a blubbering mess in that moment.
I didn’t get any pictures of my costume, or anything from rehearsal except for the one with the puppy, Riley, that one of the other Party Mom’s brought.
When I walked in to the costume room, he was in his little bag. As soon as he saw me, his tail wagged like it would fly off his little body, and he was so excited he almost couldn’t stand it. At this point, I didn’t know who he belonged to, and I said, “Who’s puppy? I’m gonna pet it before he explodes!” and then when I found his owner and got permission, I picked him up as he licked my face and I melted into a puddle of cuteness.
I thought I saved the picture, but I guess I didn’t 😭
Instead, have a completely irrelevant, shameless plug for my shirts.
Hopefully I’ll have pictures from rehearsal soon. I don’t believe I have rehearsals this weekend due to program pictures, but I need to look at my schedule before I miss something. That would be bad.