Excerpts from two beautiful ballets filled the stage last week as dryads instantly transformed into a kingdom of shades.
Right after floating through the dream scene of Don Quixote, I only had a few seconds to recover before jumping into the first shade variation of La Bayadere. I had performed it before, but I forgot how physically demanding it was especially in addition to the corps de ballet work. It is one of the fastest variations that I have ever done, so maintaining precise execution of each step, despite the fatigue, is an incredibly challenging endeavor. However, the encouraging cheers from the audience gave me so much energy, and I finished stronger than I ever had in rehearsal. When I hit my final pose, I couldn’t hold back the giant smile that radiated from my face… It was a great show!
The 2018-19 season has come to a close, so I took some time to revisit all of my adventures from the past several months…
I remembered the exhilaration of dancing the Snow Queen pas de deux in The Nutcracker, and flutes of Act 2 came floating back to me from when I took the stage as a Mirliton. My heart became warm as I recalled performing the Sugar Plum Fairy variation for the seniors at the assisted living facility, and I smiled at the memory of pure joy on their faces. I recalled working with the choreographer of “Flight” and being part of its debut in January as well as the Balanchine-themed “Spiral.” Both of these creations were brought to three separate stages as we popped in and out of the city this year, and each experience was uniquely special. I shivered at the flashback of February and all of the stress that accompanied those long days of overtime at the studio. Alice in Wonderland definitely kept us on our toes as we raced against time to put the entire ballet together, but the performance was worth every moment. Shortly after, we dove into The Little Mermaid where we spent over 13 hours in the theater on a show day, and the contemporary repertoire marked the successful ending of this very busy season.
I am incredibly grateful for all of the opportunities that I had, and I cannot thank everyone enough for the tremendous amount of support through it all. I especially want to thank all of my followers for joining me this year, liking my posts, and leaving such positive comments. It means so much to know that my friends, family, and readers all believe in my ability to succeed, so THANK YOU!
How was your dance season? Do you have any questions for me? Any special post requests? Happy Summer!
The audience sat intrigued as we created eccentric movements one dance at a time, and we slid barefoot across the floor embracing the freedom in our blistered toes. It was a night of contemporary, and the stories left people deep in thought as they attempted to interpret the ambiguous shapes. I had the opportunity to choreograph my own contemporary solo this year, and I felt so powerful as I brought “On The Edge” to the stage for the very first time. Halsey’s song, “Castle,” echoed throughout the theater as my legs and arms intertwined to match the vocal cues.
I felt like I attacked the steps with so much power during the onstage rehearsal, but a migraine took over when people actually filled the seats that night. I pushed through all of my dances, not allowing it to alter my performance, but I am upset that I couldn’t truly enjoy myself. Overall, I am so happy with how the choreography turned out, and it is definitely one of my favorite dances that I have ever pieced together. Halsey was my true inspiration, and her song really generated the intensity that I wanted. I hope that I have the chance to perform it again in the future…
What are your thoughts on this song? Do you enjoy the contemporary style of dance? Can you relate to getting a migraine at the worst possible time?
College Year 1: OFFICIALLY DONE!
(Casually doing an Arabesque at school…)
I cannot believe that my freshman year of college is actually complete, and I am about one year away from attaining my associates degree in Marketing Management. I have learned so much in the last two semesters, and I am just so thankful for this opportunity to attend this awesome school as a dual-enrolled student. It was certainly a challenge to manage a full college schedule on top of my other responsibilities, and I have no doubt that I pushed myself harder than ever before… I recall doing assignments at 2 AM while Nirvana and Pearl Jam blared out of my headphones, studying vigorously in between rehearsals, hauling a load of math problems to the tutoring center before exams, reading textbook pages for hours in the library, and reviewing papers with friends before submitting them to my professor. It was hard, but this experience really allowed me to grow as both a person and student which is really rewarding in the end. It was a great year, and I am so lucky to have had such awesome people to share it with.
I have a few weeks on break before the summer semester kicks off, but I am going to embrace this sunshine and blue sky while it lasts… Summer vibes are in the air; it’s a beautiful day!
Has your summer break started yet? What was your freshman experience like? Who else is a Marketing major? Do you enjoy bubble tea?
13 hours in the theater. 6 quick changes. 3 performances. 2 dress rehearsals. All in 1 busy day.
I glanced at the bruises forming on my feet, and my body was overcome with a state of pure exhaustion. It was my eleventh hour in the theater, and I stood behind the curtain listening to the constant murmur of the crowd as they made their way to their seats. The final show of “The Little Mermaid” was about to begin, and I was minutes away from tackling another ballet with the very little energy that I had left. It is expected that every performance has the same quality, and the audience deserves the same experience every show because tickets all cost the same. This is where it gets challenging and stressful for us, dancers. At the end of the day, fatigue and aching muscles must be concealed by bubbly smiles and seemingly effortless movements which is extremely difficult. I don’t think the audience ever truly realizes what actually goes on backstage, and the beauty of this art form can be very deceiving by the graceful image that we portray.
All in all, it was great to be back in the theater, but I think ballet officially kicked my butt.
What did you do this weekend? Have you had any performances recently? Are you ready for summer?
Have you wondered how Alice in Wonderland is coming together? Did you stop by to see which blog post won the most votes? Why is there a tutu in my title? I have lots of updates…
Alice in Wonderland is less than a week away, and these past two weeks have been so stressful (mentally and physically) as we put this entire ballet together. The cast list has been slightly adjusted, so I will now be dancing as Alice’s sister, garden flower, lead deck of cards, maid, and white queen corps de ballet. Yesterday, I was also given the responsibility to understudy the Mad Hatter due to a foot injury. I am praying that my friend gets better, but I will be sure to learn all of the choreography so that I can step in if she needs me during the long show weekend. I am excited to dance in this fun ballet, but I also am getting very nervous as all of these dancers whirl my brain in circles.
The blog post poll officially closed yesterday, and I am so excited to announce that Backstage Secrets won the most votes! I am so thankful for everyone who participated, and I will be sure to post all of these ideas at some point in the future. Right now, I am looking forward to sharing all of the weird things that dancers do before/during a show that the public doesn’t know. This will be very amusing and probably shocking to most of you. This post should be up on Tuesday, but please be patient if it gets delayed for some reason.
HAPPY TUTU DAY! (2/2/19) I know it isn’t on a Tuesday this year, but it is still a dance day worth celebrating.
Thank you for reading, and have a fantastic Superbowl Sunday! 🙂
We are switching gears at the studio as we begin to prepare for our February production if Alice in Wonderland. The Nutcracker, snow, and peppermint offerings have been replaced by a giant Cheshire cat, mushrooms, and small cups of tea… Right after the busy weekend in the theater, casting was released, and we started to learn the first few dances of this ballet. I am looking forward to performing as Alice’s sister, maid, and deck of cards lead. I am so proud of my friend who was cast as Alice, and I cannot wait to watch her shine on that stage. It is going to be a great show, and I am excited to watch this magnificent story unfold.