October 29, 2012

Is it Show-Time Already?

Nothing has been confirmed yet, but looks like we're going to reprise our Don Quixote -inspired dance for the school's xmas show! Yay! Now it just depends on whether we get enough of our original cast together. It's always tricky with us adults, especially right before the holidays. We have to be able to commit to additional rehearsals, and be free to dance just two days before all of Finland retreats home to spend Christmas. I know some of our "corps" has travel plans, while a few others are no longer at our school (or even in the same country). I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we get to go back on stage - I have really missed the experience!

I also hope to dance and perform better than I did last time. (Read the re-cap from our spring performance here: Ballerina for a Day.) Our teacher has already given us pre-rehearsal preparation to do: we have to rewatch the video from the spring show and rememorize our steps and positions. I remember being much too nervous to enjoy my entrance, and it shows. My piqué attitudes look like a dog trying to take a leak. It still makes me cringe, but not so bad that I can't make a joke about it! This much I've learned from my very few performing opportunities: there's always something you could have done better (and did do better in rehearsals). You might sail through the most difficult part and then screw up the easiest steps. It happens, shit happens. But as long as you keep going, it doesn't really matter. The audience wants to see you do well and have a good time on stage. You want the audience to enjoy your dance. It's a win-win situation, even if you should fall on your butt. Which I haven't done yet. Phew..

My attitudes are not the only thing that I look forward to make over. Watching that video, I keep wondering: where's my smile? I need to smile! Show some teeth! True, it's hard to flash a genuine smile when you're nervous and trying not to mess up the steps.. But maybe if I just fake it at first, it becomes natural as I dance along? I also need to work on my épaulement, it's still too "ballet class" and not enough Don Q. Gawd, the list of repairs doesn't end there. Must have a snappier head while spotting chaînés deboulés, and prettier arms when jumping. And please, not forget to point toes and stretch knees! And it wouldn't hurt to wear more eye make-up. Now, I know very well it's not going to be perfect next time around. I might have the best attitudes ever, and then be disappointed with my final grand jeté. But that's the beauty of a live one-chance-only performance. Even when you know the steps and counts, you never know at what precise moment the magic happens.


  1. Hahaha! Love your comment about the pique attitudes. Too funny. I know what you mean, though, about rewatching the video and critiquing everything about the performance. Sometimes I wonder why I bother to order the DVDs because no matter how hard I try I can never just sit back and enjoy, I'm always picking apart what I did.

    I will say that doing a piece over again (for me it's Snowflakes) feels much different/better than the first time. A year ago I was panicking over remembering the choreography and I never felt on top of it enough... now we still have a few weeks of rehearsal to go and I'm feeling much more confident and able to focus on the smaller things. Hopefully by the time we hit the stage the smile will feel genuine (not forced like last year).

    Glad to hear you'll be back on stage soon! It really is a lot of fun, isn't it? Merde!

    1. I would love to be a Snowflake! We don't have that whole Nutcracker tradition here in Finland (despite it being Santa Claus country). Well, our National Ballet does have Nutcracker in their rep, but even they are skipping it this year.

      DVDs are not really for enjoyment, are they? I try to view them as a learning experience: cringeworthy but valuable nonetheless. Anyway, there's nothing like the excitement of a live performance!

      And I'm sure you will have a much better experience this time. You've already done the panicking, you know the steps and you just know that it's going to be fun! Lots of Merde to you too :)

  2. I love your blog! I'm so tempted to start ballet again after 17 years. I quit when I was 16 because I thought it was either all or nothing and I was too afraid to drop high school and jump on such an uncertain path... Those days dancing as a hobby wasn't an option for me and I was too proud to take adult classes for fun - until now. I just really miss it... :)


    1. Thank you!

      Now, get back to ballet class, pronto! Yes, adult class are about fun - but we also work very hard to improve our technique. You can have a good time and still be serious about it. That's what I do. :)


To That Special Ballet Teacher

To that special ballet teacher, who not only teaches you about technique, but helps build your confidence, nurtures your inner artist, ...