This week was the great task of Dayton Ballet’s production of Swan Lake, if I’m not mistaken it has been a little over a decade since they last performed the ballet. The rareness of this classic ballet being performed in Dayton made it very special to perform in it even if it was in the smallest of ways.
My job was one as an extra. I stood on a balcony during party scenes fake laughing and pretending to be rich with my friends and it was pretty great. This was my first time being strictly an extra and it was definitely a new experience, so let me talk you through the weekend.
Thursday- Dress! Yay, I got to try on my gorgeous costumes made in the costume shop and practice putting on my dreadful wig.
Friday- Opening night and the crowd was great. You could feel the energy in the theater, everyone was a little jittery, but very excited. I watched every scene I wasn’t able to watch from onstage in the wings. It was nice to experience performing without the stress of remembering choreography and fearing a certain tough step. All went well and everyone excited to get a long night of sleep.
Saturday- My Swan Lake work began a little bit earlier than show with volunteering. I’m not sure who put it together, but a program was hosted for girl scouts to come learn about ballet, see costumes, and watch the show. Me and some of the other freshmen taught groups a simplified version of Cygnets and then performed a less simple version for them. It was very tiring, but at the end of the day very gratifying. Then it was time to grab a bite to eat pre-show. Somehow the professionals managed to be even better than the night before with nerves no longer an issue. Two down, one to go.
Sunday- Last day. I say this in complete sincerity, everyone did their best of the weekend and finished with a bang. It was a sold out house and everyone’s good vibes were bouncing off each other. It all went smoothly and just like that it came to a close.
The whole experience was brief, fast-paced, and amazing. I wasn’t sure how I would feel being an extra instead of dancing, it definitely isn’t as exciting as dancing. I learned something important though, to be grateful for the performing even as an extra. When you are rushing for a quick change and exhausted you can’t take it all in. I am so grateful to have bonded with more people, wear stunning costumes, and just be able to watch and absorb the dancing. I’m so glad I had this fun, fast, and fulfilling weekend to remind me about the joys of being onstage.
I hope you enjoyed this post and be sure to come back next week!