I’m in a professional ballet company!
OH MY GOODNESS!
It is only for the summer, and I’m not getting paid, but I get to dance all day in a professional setting, and I got a scholarship, so I didn’t have to pay the apprentice fee this company usually requires.
This is my two week check in. Summer Season is five weeks long.
It has been amazing so far.
Our first week our focus was on the ballet section of our upcoming performance. We learned the Willis’ introduction from Giselle Act II. As you do in a smaller professional company, we all learned everything. I got to dance Myrtha and the two demi soloists a few times in rehearsal. I most likely won’t be performing those roles since dancers who are staying through the fall season probably need the experience more than I do, but being able to dance them in a professional setting with a ballet mistress who was taking me seriously was a great opportunity.
Our second week we took time to review and clean our Giselle pieces, but our focus was on learning the Luigi Classic Jazz warm up and setting a piece in that style. That was eye opening for me. I have taken tons of jazz classes that have strong elements of the Luigi Warm Up, but I appreciate it so much more after learning about Luigi’s life and doing his warm up daily with Debra Berger, who had class from him in person for many years. The piece Debra set on us is a clear , classical application of the Luigi technique.
If you don’t know much about the great Luigi, read more here:
I did have some personal drama. My left foot began swelling near the front of my arch and was very inflamed for a while. I haven’t been able to jump for several days. The pain was also keeping me from focusing on steps and learning choreography. I didn’t know my steps for our jazz piece the entire first day because I was so afraid to step on my foot. I was really stressing about it and finally broke down in tears at the top of the second week. However, Miss Debra, being the incredible ballet mistress she is, knows how to take care of her dancers mentally as well as physically. She gave me a thoughtful, straightforward talking to, and I’ve been recovering emotionally as well as physically.
Our first showing is this weekend. I still can’t believe I have this opportunity to be a professional ballerina all summer, and that I don’t even have the usual financial worries most dancers (including me) usually have, thanks to my scholarship, some savings, the generosity of the USIB Director of operations (I’m staying at her house) and my loving and supportive husband back home. I’m going to talk more about dancers and financial issues in another post (you can read my previous thoughts on ballet and finances here) but for now I’m feeling grateful and excited for our next three weeks of Summer Company Season 2019.
I made a video about this too, its here.