As I sit on my bed, Giselle now behind me and the post-show-blues clearly evident, I figured now is as good a time as any to post a show recap.
Buckle in, kids, this one is going to be all over the place.
This was my first spring show not being able to dance in the corps. Nutcracker was my first show with this new chapter, so naturally i thought the worst of it was over since I had already been through a round of all the emotions that comes from such a drastic, uncontrollable change. Boy was I wrong.
The role of the Wilis is one I’ve always wanted to dance. I’m rather morbid, and being a dead spirit was always appealing to me. (Explaining this would take far longer than the attention span of a blog post. If you want that, you’ll have to meet me for coffee or something.) Getting to do such a deep and meaningful role was a dream, one that I realistically won’t have the opportunity to do again. I never thought when I started this whole Ballet thing that I would ever even have the opportunity, but I did, and my health made it a different story.
I can put all the optimistic spins on it I want, but what it comes down to is: this sucks. Having something completely out of my control come in and slowly start taking things from me isn’t my favorite thing. I try to stay positive and look at the bright side, until it gets so drastic that my life isn’t even one I recognize anymore. Starkly different from what it was even a year ago, I now find myself not being surprised by the impairments I’m dealing with. Not having full answers to go with my awkward explanations of why I’m “not really dancing” in the ballet and going from my students seeming me dance roles they could aspire to, to ones that don’t even require dance shoes. It brings on waves of emotions that one doesn’t really expect until you find yourself trying to navigate them, often with some well-meaning person staring at you as you mumble through.
What I have also found is a slew of positive things I didn’t expect, and ones I may not have had if I had been the roles I most likely would have been if I weren’t sick.
I was able to watch one of the most beautiful and gripping scenes in all of Ballet, portrayed by incredibly talented friends of mine. It perfectly displayed what it was that drew me to Ballet in the first place, gripping my heart and making me want to do whatever it took to express things like I was seeing. This is what Ballet is all about. This is why we do what we do. This.
I was able to capture moments of friends of mine I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. Nothing fancy, nothing extreme. Just simple, off guard moments that you want to hold on to after a show becomes a memory.
I was able to get to know some of my friends better, something that has meant more to my heart than I have words for.
I was able to help some of these dear friends in ways that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible, and by doing so, meet a need that otherwise would have been left unmet.
One of the most difficult things of being sick is not being able to help. I have to slow myself down and instead be the one accepting help from others, or worse, asking for it. It’s infuriating. But with this show, I was able to do simple things, and I mean sometimes it was super simple, to help these people I love so much.
I am so ridiculously grateful to have been able to be a part of this show, and in such a fun way. My role was that of the Huntspeople, where we came on with dogs in Act I. Having those dogs lightened everything around us, and the handlers were really nice.
Being surrounded by such incredible people, especially when this all could have so easily been snatched from me completely, is something I cherish. My directors are truly one of a kind women that I aspire to be like in my own life. I’ll never know how I managed to end up involved in such a wonderful company, but I’ll try my hardest to never take it for granted. Not to mention the friends I’ve made through Ballet. Incredible people I’m honored to call friends, and so many of them. Who am I to find myself in a place where I know I will feel so incredibly loved any time I step foot there? People go their entire lives trying to find a place like this, and here I’ve found it so early on.
Grateful doesn’t begin to cut it.
And now, here are a few of my favorite pictures of all the Giselle shenanigans, as well as a few of my favorite people.
I always think I’m taking SO MANY PICTURES but then show ends and there’s so many I missed. Sigh. But I am incredibly grateful for the ones I have, and for the people I have in my life.
Started ballet late October of 2011 at the age of 23.
Began pointe training late August of 2013.