End of Season

Yesterday I had my final show of the season. I also have pictures for the first time in forever.

After a long and stressful season, it finally came to a close and I’m not going to lie, I was happy. This had been a tough year, I was never quite in a spot I felt fit whether that was a class or a role. Throughout the year it always felt off. It was hard because I was in a weird in between place of levels. I had close friends on either end of me, but was always slightly secluded from each side since I had connection to another. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I was put in the in between place of levels to be pushed, but it was hard mentally. I couldn’t claim to be fully apart of one side or the other, so for that to end is a huge relief. It is time to move into the higher level officially along with friends from the lower level and I couldn’t be more excited.

Processed with VSCO with b1 preset

final real class of the year

Anyways, my final week of classes were a great end to the season. Tuesday was made up of rehearsals, but they actually ran smoothly for the first time. Wednesday was a fun and easy class that ended with a fulfilling fitness to my favorite song. Thursday brought a jazz combination to “Beautiful Liar” that definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, but in the best way. Along with jazz was regular ballet and variations. We do variations every year, but this year was special. I really, truly enjoyed it and felt good about my dancing, the smile on my face wasn’t because there was an “audience”, it was there from joy. It was definitely the cherry on top.

Processed with VSCO with b1 preset Processed with VSCO with b1 preset

After some good classes, the long awaited end of season show came. A lot of work went into it and it definitely felt like we needed more time, but in the end it came together. Sure, there were several mistakes, but it felt right. All of us performers came together, even though we were exhausted and presented a great show.

Processed with VSCO with b1 preset

almost showtime

This may not have been my best season, but at least I can say I finished it with a bang. There was stress and frustrations all year, yet it had its moments and the end was definitely one of them. I really hope you enjoyed this post and check back next Monday for more!

Processed with VSCO with b1 preset

Dear Diary Times Two

Today is a little advice post that can apply to dancers, but almost anyone else. I am suggesting that you start two journals, for two separate things.

The first journal I recommend starting is for a more personal use. I suggest jotting down every day (or as close to) what you did, how you felt, and other things from the day you just had. This is a great way to relieve yourself of any emotions that may have built up in the studio, allows for you to go back and read about good days, and is a great way to wrap up your day. There are so many other good reasons to start this personal journal. It helps get rid of stress, understand thoughts, pushes you to remember things, and so much more. The last reason to start a journal is years from now you may go back and read it and get to relive a great role or summer intensive.

The second journal is for ballet (or other things for my non dancer readers). After a class or two go back and write down corrections from teachers or things you want to work on. You can use this to help keep track of things to improve and make goals. This is also a great tool for when you are preparing a piece or role for performance. While we remember a lot of corrections, a lot can also go out the window by the next day. Try and push yourself to write down corrections or tips after every other class. It may be annoying at first, but it will soon become a habit. This journal will be so helpful for targeting your specific flaws and it can help you to remember corrections from one time experiences such as intensives or master classes.

I hope you try keeping the two journals to help you relax and to help your dancing. I know it has been helpful to write down my thoughts, since there is always a lot going on.

Come back next Monday to hear about my end of season show that is happening this Sunday!

A Rough Audition

Part of the reason I started this blog was to share my experiences as a dancer, but recently I’ve just been writing advice posts and not much of my story. Today I’m going to talk about an audition I had Friday and how my dance life has been going in general. This post is just a little story time on what has been going on dance wise for me.

Ballet has been crazy busy for me recently, with end of season show coming up there has been endless rehearsing. This is all coming after a different performance, “Peter and the Wolf”. “Peter and the Wolf” was an exhausting, but ultimately fulfilling experience. I was cast at the bird and was in two of four performances. We had relatively little preparation and it was definitely a stressful. Once it was over we had to dive right into end of season preparation, but that isn’t what I’m talking about today.

This past Friday, Cinco de Mayo, I had an audition for a second company position. It isn’t as serious as other second companies, that are more of jobs, this second company is similar, but not as intense. Anyways this audition went pretty well, there weren’t any major mess ups. The problem was, it wasn’t my best. I knew I could have done better, but I wasn’t dancing to my fullest potential. My turns were faulty, my adagio weak, and overall I felt frustrated.

This had been happening for a while in class since I got a minor back injury. I can’t sit out to let it heal, but I have had to hold back in class in order to stay healthy enough to dance. Due to this I felt I had declined from earlier this year and it felt discouraging. The audition ended and it wasn’t terrible, but it could have been better. I knew I had done well enough, but to know I could have done better was better. Despite this crappy feeling, the next day I got up went to class and rehearsal.

Moral of the story, push through. I’ve been struggling recently with little things in ballet, but have forced myself to continue on and I hope you do too. Some classes are better than others and we just have to hope the next one is the best yet. If you find yourself feeling this way, keep going.

Check back soon, for my opinion on new jazz shoes and hopefully some more stories like this one!

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Today I’m talking about the benefits of a smaller company. I feel there is always pressure to be at some big company or some big school, but this isn’t always true. Every dancer needs something different and smaller companies might be it and here is why.

More performing opportunities as a student has been a nice benefit from being at a smaller school. With a smaller company, they will pull more from the school for performing opportunities. It’s for this reason that I have been in productions other than Nutcracker and Spring Showcases (aka recitals).

Another benefit to training at a smaller school or company is more personalized attention. This is sometimes found in bigger schools, but not that much. It’s common sense, smaller class, more attention for each student. For some dancers that little bit of extra attention can make all the difference in their training.

The last reason to consider a smaller school is if you want a more laid back ballet schedule. If you don’t want a ballet or dance career, you’ll most likely prefer the easier small school schedule that is common.

Overall every dancer has different needs, if you want to be a big fish in a little pond a smaller school is probably better. Some may want a reputation with bigger companies and in that case you should consider a bigger school. My point is don’t throw one method or the other aside based off what you hear from others.

Sorry for such a short post, please check back next week for a review!