(n) An advanced step in which—after falling catastrophically out of a turn, jump, or lift—one rises from the ground with such an air of grace and mastery that the audience (ideally, even the choreographer) believes the whole disaster was part of the original choreography. Example: “Mistaknov’s glorious reveille left us questioning whether Seigfried’s variation was not, in fact, actually supposed to open with a glorious saut de chat followed by a fluid, cat-like tuck-and-roll to the knee. Indeed, we wondered if we’d ever seen it done right before.”
I am definitely recovering. Yesterday, I still woke up feeling fairly exhausted, but by late afternoon some of the fog and fatigue had begun to lift.
Every time I do this to myself, I’m stunned by how thoroughly a fairly minor illness can sap one’s energy (or, at any rate, mine). When you know you’ve got a sinus infection but you let it go for several weeks because you know the antibiotics you’ll take to get rid of it don’t play nicely with ballet and you’ve got a show coming up, you lose track of what “normal” feels like.
Anyway, today I feel almost like a human being, which means that by the end of the week I’ll probably be my usual hyperactive self.
Tonight, I’ll be back in class—I’ll do barre and see how things sit.
There was a brief period in this whole process in which I thought, “I wonder if this is what ‘normal’ feels like.” I wasn’t yet overwhelmingly exhausted, but I could sit down for more than five minutes at a time and could also fall asleep easily without having to spend eight hours furiously dancing first.
It lasted maybe a week. It was nice, in a way, but it wasn’t quite like being myself.
Maybe someday when I’m older I’ll find my way back to that place and it’ll feel like home.
Maybe I won’t: we tend to measure ourselves by our peers, and I’ll probably always be a bit of a live wire by that yardstick.
*not an actual ballet term … BUT IT SHOULD BE