That’s how long it’s been since my feet have danced in pointe shoes.
One year since the last performance of our spring show of 2017.
Deep down, I was aware that it would be my last. That I would have to dial back and slow it down. I knew I wouldn’t be in pointe shoes again for a while, or dance in the corps, or have warm up on stage.
I didn’t realize that I would essentially have to stop dancing all together. That my back would get more messed up than it already was. That I would be so tired that I can’t really do anything outside of what is absolutely necessary. (Don’t assume what you think is necessary is the same as what I’m able to do. Dishes? Putting laundry away? Cooking, let alone eating 3 times a day? None of these are necessity right now. I digress.)
One year ago I pushed through all the pain and exhaustion and made it through my last show of Snow White which ended up having some of my favorite roles I’ve ever done. I don’t think there’s words to describe how it left me feeling, or what the memories of dancing in that show mean to me. Or even dancing at all. To think, I almost didn’t begin dancing. Fear tried to hold me back until I wanted it more than i was afraid of it. Until sheer determination and lots of hope lead me to figuring out how to begin.
Remembering the feeling of my hair pulled back right into a bun, or in this case braided into a crown around my head by my friend Lauren. The costume fastened tight around my torso like I like it, the sound the costume makes when you’re walking backstage, or trying to keep your pointe shoes quiet while also trying to get to the other side of the stage in time. The rush before your music cue, and the cheers after the curtain closes. Smiling so hard your cheeks hurt. The fake eyelashes that never seemed to stay on properly, largely because I suck at putting them on. The preparation and last-ditch-effort prayers that go in to putting on pointe shoes, hoping you’ve wrapped or taped or padded your toes enough. The split toenails. Moreso, that liberating feeling taking your shoes off. Hearing your friends next to you gasping for breath as much as you are, and watching the rise and fall of their chest in the moments of stillness, pretending like everything we just did was super easy and casual.
One of our regulars came in to work today and asked if we did anything for Easter with Ballet. We didn’t, and I told her about Giselle coming up. She asked if I was dancing, and I said not really. That I’m involved but not dancing. She made a comment of how I must be facing the burn out, which happens to all of us.
But that’s the thing, I’m not. I’d be out there if I could. And while it’s nice to have weekends without extensive rehearsals, I miss feeling that sense of purpose.
My life is slowing down, and I hope to utilize it as much as possible. There’s much still up in the air and things I’ll be weighing out in the near future, but it’s not anything I can say yet.
Amazing the difference a year can make.
Ironically, it’s also been 3 years since I first had to go to the chiropractor and found out about all my back issues. (Here’s the blog post.)
It’s also 4 years since my house fell, which ended up being a good thing so we could build it stronger, and probably why it was able to withstand the hurricane.
It’s also my sisters birthday
A day for reflection.
Here’s some of my favorite pictures from last year’s performances
(Last picture compliments of Alex Treviño)
(Second and third picture compliments of my dear Elizabeth.)
(Also. Apparently I had ooooone more show, which was at a different location. But for all intents and purposes this was my last “real” show. I don’t wanna re write this post. 😂)