Thoughts and feels lately

I’ve been rather contemplative lately, in a funk of sorts. This tends to be when I get reflective and such, which has only been heightened by the excitement of a domain name, instagram account, facebook page, and everything else that has come about with the blog actually being a .com.

Looking back, I realized this time last year, most people still didn’t know me.
It was largely Wizard of Oz that actually introduced me to everyone in the studio. I knew a few after Nutcracker, but mainly just the girls in Chinese with me. Which was about, ya know, 7 people. Oz added on the Crows, other Winkie Guards, a teacher, (who was our director) Munchkins, their siblings, the dance mom’s, and eventually the other dancers. (I think Crows opened up majority of that.)

It’s funny to see the difference.
How now, everyone knows me. They know my name. They know I’m not in High School, a good deal of them have figured out my story, or at least bits of it.

Honestly, sometimes I can’t tell which I prefer.
Getting less-than-stellar roles is definitely easier when you don’t know anyone. It’s not as personal. The sting is only within yourself and doesn’t typically have other people attached. It’s less to fake until you can work through your emotions. It’s less tears, really.
There’s less confusion about how you rank on level since so many other opinions are now interjected. You don’t have as many people you feel responsible fore; You don’t have to be “on” as much when no one knows you.

On the other hand, there’s less encouragement. Less people who care about your accomplishments and help you when you’re struggling. There’s less support. You don’t have people to bounce thoughts off of, or to ask to watch you do this or that move and see if it’s correct. You don’t have someone there to pull you back to reality when you get caught inside your own head, no one to shoot down the lies you tell yourself. No one to build you up when you get knocked down. There’s no one there to ask for advice. No one to share ballet puns with. No one to read your blog and get excited with you over new beginnings or small victories.

On Sunday, I went with one of my best-non-dance friends to Austin to meet our favorite author. This was my first time to attend such an event, and I was really excited, especially since I felt like I could relate to him in so many ways.
There was a question and answer segment, during which he nonchalantly divulged the wisdom that guides who he is as a writer and a person. During this, he made a comment about how, when writing the final book of this trilogy, he tried to seclude himself to get what he needed out. He went to his parents cabin with hopes and visions of walking around nature, taking it all in, and being able to get the story out. What he found was the exact opposite. Being alone was of no help, and instead he found what he needed when he surrounded himself with the people he cares most about. The ones who encourage him and are honest with him.

It may be difficult, there may be times I want to just be alone, and that’s okay. Especially being largely introverted. But what it boils down to is that I’d be nothing without the people in my life, without this dance family I have found myself among. They push me and encourage me and help me accomplish the things I’ve set out to do. They celebrate my successes and grieve my disappointments right along side me.

Though I’m sure I’ll find myself in days when being alone is what I need, I can’t let myself cut off from the very people who have helped me get as far as I am.

 

I love the people in my life. And I cherish these days that I get to have them close to me. Every year brings new changes–heck, everything could change tomorrow–so while I have them, I want to hold them close and make the most of it.

Changes. 

Hi, hello, new platform here. Bear with me as I move things around and change things up and get comfortable in my new home. 

I’m excited 🙂 

Tuesday nights class was cancelled since almost everyone is part of Festival and they had an adjudication that night. Four of our choreographers each have a dance they showcase and go head to head against each other, two pieces being chosen to go to Festival in April. 

I had seen a few of the rehearsals. Some of them started off really rough, but I was really impressed with how well the girls (and Sean) all did. I think it’s safe to say this was the best they’ve done it and it all looked so good. I’d hate to be the adjudicator. He’s got some tough decisions ahead of him. 

I was particularly proud of a few of the girls that had really been put through the ringer. Overcoming challenges and having to really pick themselves up and fight for it. And they did. And it proved worth it. And it took everything in me not to scream in excitement when they nailed it. (Especially since I was working the adjudicators camera) (hah) 

The evening did start with a class. Anyone in company could take the class. I wanted to, but since I was out of town Sunday, I didn’t have time to wash my tights and leotards before so I literally threw them in the wash Tuesday morning and asked mom to hang them up for me. 

(Thanks mom!) 

It was cool to get to watch, though. To see not only the “good dancers” that everyone knows is awesome, but to see the up and comings. To see the ones in my level that stand out and be able to try and figure out what is different about them and how I can be more like that. 

Once again, I was very proud of my girls. 

   
 
The whole night was really fun. Even though I didn’t get to take class, I was glad to be there. And to be able to really take it all in. 

I’ve found myself doing that in class as well. Taking a step back and appreciating what I have and who I have. Next year, things will be different. Heck, they could all change tomorrow. But we have right now. And right now is pretty great. 

Class yesterday went really well, too. I’m really getting the hang of pirouettes en pointe, and even attempted some en dedans. They weren’t so successful, but I didn’t break apart. I accepted it and determined to keep working. 

We did some adagio and I was actually able to keep my balance, which I have struggled with. It’s still not perfect, but I can feel myself improving. And that’s a wonderful thing. 

We worked a bit on recital, even though quite a few people are missing. I was grateful, though, especially since it’s getting closer to when I’ll have to be working lots of overtime and missing class. Plus, I love seeing the piece come together, even if it is a bit chaotic right now with so many people and half of them missing. 

While waiting for our next bit of instruction, I found a quiet moment and a bit space around me so I decided to try to work on the en dedans. 

And wouldn’t you know, I did it. 

On both sides. 

I literally stopped and made a face and my friend asked if I was okay cause she thought something was wrong. Oh no, nothing wrong. Just why couldn’t I do that earlier? Haha. But it’s good, I think I’m finally grasping them, so I tried a few more. It seems my placement in the plié was what held me back, and when I do it right I get the force I need to turn. Little victories! 

We’re also starting to have the studio loaded with boxes; recital costumes coming in slowly. Turns out ours had to be changed, and the ones we’re using came in. I made eyes at Mrs. Alex to sort of ask what they were so she told us and showed us and honestly I love them. 

  
The color is so rich, and I think it really goes well with the music and the piece and I’m just so happy! The other ones were nice, but these are just incredible. 

It was really nice to have a good class yesterday. My jetes still need work, but that’s okay. Every day I hope to be a little better leaving than when I came in. It’s a struggle, but I really want to do everything I can and work as hard as possible. Especially since I’ve been feeling so well lately. I want to do because I can. (I even tried jumps!) (and was successful! Just. Ya know. Need to beef up my stamina.) Theres not much worse than knowing you’re capable to do things, but your body holds you back so you physically can’t. All while people around you are being lazy in doing them. I want to shake them and scream, “if you’re able, please do it!!!” Thankfully, everyone as a whole yesterday seemed to be on their a game. 

It was a good day. 

Work for what you want.

Yesterday I seemed to be struck with a new dose of determination.
I don’t know where it came from,
I’m not sure what brought it on,
But I would be okay if this became a new normal.

My legs felt like jelly in a way I can’t remember feeling in a long time. I wish I could do this every day so I could get better that much quicker. But, I am grateful for what I do have. I know all too well that all of this can be on hold in the blink of an eye.
I did everything I could to not stop in the middle of a rep. I wanted to push myself and actually do the whole thing.
No room for quitting.
And wouldn’t you know it, I did. I was able to push through and do all of each of the things I set out for.
By the time we got to pointe, my legs were wobbly beyond reason. But I refused to let it stop me.
If I use the excuse I have now, when will I get better? Will I ever? How much longer will improvement take?

So I pushed through. I did the releves, I did the bourees, I did every single one of them. And if I did have to stop for this reason or that, I didn’t quit. I stopped long enough to put my shoe back on after it slipped and got right back to it. Even if it hurt.

I watched my technique in the mirror. I tried to make improvements as I went, tried to make sure I was doing the best I knew how and retrain myself in areas I faltered.
I know these moves. Now I need to clean them up.

Now, there were things that I’m behind on and just can’t do. So, I didn’t risk it. I was a little disappointed in myself at first, I wanted to try it at least… But, then, I realized that I was the only one of us new pointers still in my pointe shoes. Everyone else had taken theirs off or just didn’t put them on for whatever reason.
I just did what I was able to do. Everyone else was doing pique turns with a pique move I can’t remember the name to (where you pick up both legs–one at a time–as you turn) and I know I’m still trying to get my pique turns down. So, I just did pique turns. I worked on those. I could have gone to the barre and done the whole combination, but I didn’t want to cheat of of the piques I’ve wanted to work on for so long.

It took me a little longer than everyone else, but I didn’t want to stop halfway, ya know? I wanted to get better. Jilissa pointed out different things to work on as I went, which I was so grateful for. I really want to get these down. I want to get better. I want to be able to do this. And I know each thing I learn will in turn help the new things I have yet to master.

As I got across to the left side, McKenna said to me, “Remember when you were too afraid to go across the floor at all?” I was thinking she meant starting pointe, but she meant in the beginning.
I remember those breakdowns. I remember those stark moments of paralyzing fear. I remember her kindness in pulling me out of the corner to help me out and meeting me where I was in my knowledge.
I remember.

And now look at where I am.
Going across the floor confidently on pointe shoes, even if I knew I couldn’t do the move fully. Even if I knew I was behind.
Being behind is irrelevant, as long as you keep going.
You have to have the confidence in yourself to know that as long as you keep trying you’re gonna get there.
If I would have given up back then, I never would have made it here.
If I never would have began, I’d still be living in regret.

Instead, I’m moving in the direction of my dreams, getting a little closer each time I tie those ribbons.

My friend Sarah said something in the hallway before class. She told us how she was turning over a new leaf, that she was going to make a point to practice every day. Because she wanted to get better. She said she was a picture of a beautiful dancer with her leg up by her face that said something to the effect of, “Don’t wish you could be her, work to be like her.”
This should be the mantra for all of us.

Work for what you want
Don’t give up, you’ll get there.