If you are a dancer, or you have a partner or friend or loved one who is, you already know: we dancers are incredibly critical of our work.
So to watch a video in which I’m dancing and think, before I’ve thought anything else, “That was good!” is a big deal.
Anyway, today I finished a week-long summer intensive session in which I (GASP!) actually talked to people I don’t know and, like, made some friends ❤ This was a really lovely group of dancers, and I would happily dance with any of them again any time.
We learned and performed (via livestream and for a small audience outside the big window of our studio) a brand-new piece choreographed by Ashley Thursby-Kern and Theresa Bautista, and when I watched it, I found myself thinking, “That was good!”
Not just their choreography, or the performance of my fellow dancers–but for once I was able to look at myself and think that.
It wasn’t perfect, of course, but ballet never is. And I think that we did rather a fine job learning and polishing it in the span of five days.
Anyway, for the moment, you can catch it here, with an introduction by Ashley, who is a thoroughly lovely human being:
I’m trying hard not to list the shortcomings I do see in my own performance here. It’s enough to know what I could have done better and will do better next time. It’s enough to look at myself dancing and say, for once, “That was good.”
Obvs, the fact that I survived is pretty good.
Here are a few more, in no particular order:
- The bit during barre when LAA goes, “And then you penché and you just put your hands on the floor and hang out there for a while” as she drops into a 6:00 penché and everyone’s faces be like 😍😒😐😮😯😨😓 while they mentally calculate how badly they’re about to crash & burn
- But then everyone finds so, so much more penché than they thought they had
- The bit where JB keeps cracking me up from across the room between barre combinations while I desperately try to keep it together
- The bit when I catch myself in mirror during the waltz and think, “Holy shizz, I’m dancing!” (Really, “We’re dancing”—my whole group looked so, so good. So polished!)
- The bit where holy crap, where did that extension come from?
- The bit where I finish the first side of the waltz in an 90 degree extension devant straight out of a stepover double and get The Nod. All dancers know The Nod. We sometimes live and die by The Nod.
I also made it through essentially all of Trapeze 2 (we’ll see how/if Trap 3 goes, though :P)—the one thing I really couldn’t do was a catcher’s-hang roll-up, and that’s solely because my rectus femoris cramped like a mofo. The legs, they are tired. Pretty sure the bit where I started going, “Nope ! Nope nope nope! I’m done!” whilst still wrapped in a trapeze was pure comedy, though.
My front balance and hip hang to catcher’s hang transitions, on the other hand, were aces.