This last week was almost entirely dedicated to Sleeping Beauty and I loved it. There is some kind of magic when performing at the Schuster Center that whether you have a small part or you are the center of the show, it feels special.
Sleeping Beauty was exactly what I needed right now. Senior company’s part wasn’t huge, but I was on stage for nearly the second act soaking it all in and enjoying it. It is always special getting to do an extra ballet in the spring even if it is a little stressful. On Wednesday night we had about six hours total of tech rehearsal, but we were at the theater for eight hours. It was a little tiring, but the practice was needed.
Thursday night was dress rehearsal and it went as well as I could’ve hoped. Everything I did that I was maybe a little anxious about went really well. It felt good and I was ready for an audience.
Then it was Friday night, time to finally perform. It definitely wasn’t my personal best, but the feeling on stage that night was incredible. The energy seemed to bounce from dancer to audience back to dancer. I had never felt more relaxed or simply enjoyed performing as I did that night. The role of party guest wasn’t exactly tasking, so it felt like I just got to relish the stage. It was the exact kind of refresh I needed this time of year.
Saturday brought a little extra sleep and a full class, the first one in a few days. Saturday my performing was at its best for both the matinee and evening show. The audience in the evening was incredible, laughing at every moment they were supposed to and flooding our ears with applause.
Lastly was the Sunday matinee. It was my least favorite day of the run through. Everything went well, but it is always a little hard to let go of a production. I grew a little sad realizing some things were coming to an end and that it was one person’s last time doing this or another person’s last time doing that. It was bittersweet to summarize it simply.
It is all over now, but I’ll miss it. This was far from the traditional Sleeping Beauty, but beautiful none the less. I’m so glad I got to watch it become what it was and watch backstage nearly every day when I wasn’t performing. This was a nice little breath of fresh air to re-encourage me through these next five or so weeks. End of year is fast approaching and I’m incredibly ready and at the same time not ready in the slightest.
Just like that the final break of the year has come and gone. It is time to buckle down and get to business because some big things are coming up one after the other. Yesterday was my last day of freedom before I go into the craziness of just school and ballet for the next eight or so weeks. This is definitely the hardest part of the year with everything coming to a close and being a bit overwhelming. This week I’m going to talk about my final day of break, what is to come, and how I survive the spring madness.
This last week was spring break and sadly this Monday I had to come back to reality. I didn’t do anything spectacular or crazy for my spring break, it was really just doing school work and chilling at home. Even though it was very tame, knowing I have to get through the last nine weeks of school and seven weeks of ballet without a break makes me nervous. Since yesterday was going to be my last free day for awhile I made sure to spend it well.
My mom and I drove to Columbus for the day. First we went and got brunch at Pistacia Vera then we went to the Franklin Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Pistacia Vera is an incredibly good bakery with some really good brunch foods too. Franklin Conservatory is my mom and I’s favorite spot, with awesome gardens and beautiful architecture (great place for dance pictures if you aren’t shy). At the gardens we got to see butterflies and look at the constantly changing plant setups. That was pretty much my day, but it was great way to just zone out one last time.
I know I may sound a bit over the top or dramatic talking about how crazy these next weeks are, but they really are. This is the most performance dense time out of the entire year as well as this is when I hit my wall with school. By this time each year I am beyond ready to throw away the textbooks and sleep in, but instead it is time to prep for exams and stay up late to write papers.
Right now at ballet we are rehearsing three things; Sleeping Beauty, Recess, and the end of year show. Sleeping Beauty is with the company and has been the primary focus the past few weekends. Rehearsal is usually all day Saturday and while not super strenuous it is long hours. Sleeping Beauty has probably been one of my favorite things we’ve done this year because it is a new interpretation with all new costumes, set, and choreography.
Recess is a piece Senior Company is doing at Wright State’s dance concert. Dayton Ballet and Wright State collaborate in a few ways with Senior Company performing at their show as one of them. Like Sleeping Beauty this isn’t the most exhausting or tasking piece, but it takes a lot of hours to bring the show all together. Lastly is then end of year show. Dayton Ballet School’s annual show is in crunch time. I’m learning about four pieces in addition to all of Les Sylphides and it is crazy. Each year it is rewarding to perform, but the stress that comes with learning and finishing everything is annual as well. I’m sure since you’re reading this you also have crazy times like this. Here are a few tips to get through it:
Grab a Planner: I’m not one to bullet journal or schedule everything, but I find that right now one of the things that keeps me sane is writing it all out. In order to keep track of rehearsals, due dates, and more I need to sit with a calendar and right it out. I definitely don’t maintain this habit year round, but when things get wild, it comes in handy.
Work Now, Play Later: In order to stay focused right now and get things done I try to think of what will be a “reward” to enjoy once things are over. I have a mindset of what will be something exciting later as motivation to work really hard right now, so I can do my best. (An example being once I’ve studied hard and finished the school year then I can laze around and maybe buy a treat like a new leotard)
Enjoy the Craze: As I enter what will be my most hectic months of the year I keep reminding myself to enjoy it. I may be pumped for summer to come already, but I will immediately miss the structure and thrill of performing the moment it is over. So anytime you feel like you want to just be done with whatever school assignment or choreography you’re working on, remember this is probably the one and only time you’ll get to do it.
I hope you enjoyed this slightly all over the place and slightly longer post. As you know by now a lot will be going on these next few weeks and I can’t wait to share how they go along the way!