It’s the final countdown.

We have two weekends of rehearsals left before “Selena Week” when we rehearse at the theater. It’s exciting to see Act I come together like it has, and I’m anxious to get to see Act II. I wanted to sneak in to a rehearsal, but they happen while I’m teaching on Saturdays so I haven’t had a chance. I’ve heard great things, and seeing all the girls at photo day made it exciting.

We were off last weekend for Spring Break, and we’ll be off next weekend for Easter. The weekend after, we’re hoping to have the dogs at rehearsal to work with, which I’m super excited about. Last rehearsal, we had a fill in dog which was really fun. It’ll be great having all the dogs on stage and I hope to get loads of pictures with them. Stay tuned 😊

I felt terrible today, thought about texting our director and staying home, but I really wanted to be around everyone and I hate missing rehearsal. I figured i could handle it since all I do is walk on stage, react, walk off stage, then do it again. Simple, right? Apparently it was still too much. I’m still very much so learning the boundaries of my new realities, and the extent of how far it goes. I hope to post a formal, lengthy update in maybe the next month to fill y’all in on everything in more detail, but I’m still waiting for some of those details.

I made the decision to go home after one run through today. I was dizzy and nauseated and knew it would be better for me in the long run if I were in bed. It’s infuriating, but it is what it is.

My classes were surprisingly great this week. I was very grateful. I love being in the studio and surrounded by the atmosphere, and I try not to take any of it for granted. I know each moment truly is a gift.

Also, I have some pretty incredible people in my life that I’ve met through dance. That is a gift a can never repay.

Short update, but thank y’all for sticking with me. ❤️

Giselle rehearsals.

We’re in the last month of rehearsals before Giselle in April here at my home studio.

I knew it would be different not being as involved as usual, but I don’t know that you can really prepare yourself for all the emotions that come with it. Some days I just want to dance. The fact that that is nowhere near an option can be heart breaking, even if it’s something I’ve known for a few months.

I was going through my Instagram timeline yesterday, curious to see what kind of fade has really happened since I’m not in a studio 6 days a week anymore. It was fascinating. Even now, I’m early to rehearsal, watching the warm up class I used to take, remember what it felt like to retain the combinations, work your body to try to meet the expectations, and figure out new things with movements you’ve done daily for years now. I miss the “good sore” feeling. I miss the sweat breaking on my forehead. I miss the pressure of the pointe shoe against my foot and toes. Is that weird? Maybe.

Since we had program pictures yesterday, I wore my contacts. I was also late to my picture time since it started 15 minutes before my class across town ended. It was fine, though, they understood and worked with me with no problem. This is the first group of kids I’ve had that have never seen me without my glasses. Some of them were really taken back by it, not sure if it was me at first. Most figured out that I was wearing make up and my hair was in a bun and I wasn’t wearing glasses. Even some of the parents commented and asked what the occasion was. Which is kinda funny. You don’t really realize how different things are when it’s a slow fade until you look back and see all the changes.

It was spring break so many of my students in my first class were missing. It worked out, though, because I was able to really go over the transitions with them. When I have all of them back, it’ll help to have half the class already know what’s going on.

It’s been fun being able to be at rehearsals with my friends again, even if I’m not dancing with them this time. The atmosphere is the same, and it’s comforting. I try not to take for granted every opportunity I have to be in the studio and around this art form, even if it’s different than before.

The studio is closed this next week for spring break. I’ll miss my little nuggets, but will be excited when we’re all back together.

What a week.

This has been a really difficult week, to say the least.

Those little things that cut you down and get under your skin seemed to come from every direction and pile up all at once.

To say I’m grateful for ballet and what it has given me in this life would be an understatement. I know I’m not currently well enough to take classes, but I still reap beautiful benefits from this community and family I’ve found myself in.

I have cherished friends that can tell something is off, take the time to check in on me, and listen to me as I completely shatter in a way I haven’t in I couldn’t tell you how long, blubbering through everything weighing so heavily on me. I can’t tell you how many times people avoid it, or don’t look close enough to see that anything is wrong, or if they do they don’t take the time to inquire. I was really struggling that day, and the fact that someone cared enough about me not only to reach out, but to attentively listen as I verbal vomited all over the place meant more to me than I have words for.

I know I’m not the greatest ballet teacher to ever walk the planet. I have much to learn and countless ways to improve, but I teach some of the greatest kids on the planet. They’re fun and silly and determined and their hearts absolutely burst with kindness. They may have no clue that I was ugly crying moments before they’re class, but they just run up to me and hug me out of nowhere. Then they proceed to focus and pay attention and be patient as we work out a difficult part of recital positioning.

That trend carried to my Friday and Saturday classes as well, though my older girls could do with a bit more focus. It can be difficult when it’s the first class on a rainy Saturday morning, and only 3 of the 12 are on time.

All in all, today was a great ballet day. I taught my classes, as well as covered a 4-5 year old class in between and taught a private afterwards. The class I covered went surprisingly well. That age can be particularly difficult, but I think the odds went in my favor and that the allure of a new teacher played well for me. The two girls I had a private with made my heart burst. One is brand new to ballet and coming in recital seasons, the other has health troubles and has to miss a bunch. I was beyond excited their mom’s approached me about working one-on-one. Not only does it help them understand better and learn more, it will help having them know what’s going on to sort of direct the rest of the girls who either don’t want to be there or don’t care to focus as much. It helps them feel more confident in what they’re doing, especially when the tempo picks up. It also helps give them a good base off of which to practice at home.

I was a bit nervous that such a full day today would leave me exhausted. I haven’t done that much ballet back-to-back in I don’t know how long. But, it didn’t. I’m tired, yes, that doesn’t go away, but simultaneously I felt alive. It was energy well worth using, and being able to come home and try to get work done while laying in bed was nice. I wish I had more time to get things done at the speed I’m able, but that’s the way things go right now and I’m making the best of it as I can.

I’ll get through the dark days. I’ll work hard and push through when I want to give up. I’ll do that. But it sure makes the load a little lighter to have kind people there to walk beside you in the darkness, and celebrate with you when the light is finally shining through again. The tunnel is still very dark, but the light at the end is getting closer. I’ll get there one day, and I’ll keep fighting until I do.