Not Sinking (Yet)

by Siobhan Knight
31 Aug 2012 22:17 (updated 31 Aug 2012 22:20) | 0 comment(s)

This blog entry was actually written on Thursday, August 30, 2012.

You know how when in middle school and high school, you would walk into a room and conversation would stop? Or you'd look over at a group of people and they'd pointed look away and stop talking? The tell-tale signs that all scream "Yeah, we're talking about you."

That's been my life for the past two days.

I'm trying to ignore it, and I'm trying really hard not to imagine what's been said just out of my earshot but it's hard. I know that I'm not a professional and I haven't had all the training that they've had, but I'm trying, I'm really trying.

I've been getting to the studio thirty minutes earlier just to have the time to warm up and do a little solo practice before class starts. I take a shorter lunch and I stay after everyone is gone so that I can work on the routines and get them perfect. It's not easy and they've been doing this for weeks before I even started, and I know that I have a long way to go by the September 28th Gala.

The repertoire is three ballets, all stand alone pieces, and each is a little different from the rest. The last one is unexpectedly contemporary, and while it's really the most fun, it's turning out to be the most complicated. Not that the others are easy. I make mistakes, and I know I'm going to have to work harder. It would just be better if I didn't feel like everyone is looking over my shoulder waiting for the new kid to make a mistake.

My mother says I'm pushing too hard and that if I don't take a break, I'm going to burn out before I even get started. I know she means well, but she hasn't been in the studio with these other dancers. She doesn't know just how good they are. Okay, that's not fair. I know she choreographed for the big Gala two years ago, so she does know. So, how can she possibly tell me that I need to slow down?

That's the worse part of it all. The Gala. This isn't a ballet that I've seen danced before. Yes, every choreographer is different, but I've seen NYC National Ballet do a number of things (all of them fantastic). I mean, I'm honest flattered that I'll be on the same stage (maybe if I'm lucky) with Sadie Jaffe. She's brilliant, and phenomenal. (Even if she does give me that little 'oh aren't you cute' smile whenever she sees me. At least she's not watching me from the corners and whispering like a high schooler.)

But the Gala is this huge benefit and showcase and it's like a trial by fire. Sink or swim.

I'm terrified.

I've tried to talk to Pres when he bought me lunch, but for some reason, sitting there and listening to him talk about Broadway and how great things are going for he and Jenna? I didn't want to bring him down. I mean, let's face it: there's only room for one RSVP at a pity party. That's the reason I haven't been in touch with Jenna much either. I don't think she's noticed though, with how busy she is and seeing Chance. Which is good, I'm not begrudging her that. I'm glad she's able to unwind with him when she's got free time.

I'm talking to Harper every night, and it helps. He knows what to say to cheer me up and make me smile, and he's been sending me little gifts all week. I'm carrying my dance gear in the butterfly bag, even though I'm not a pink girl. It's got a butterfly and it's from Harper, and it reminds me that even if he's not here, he's supporting me.

Anyway, tomorrow, Friday, is D-day. Eric and Cyn are announcing the role assignments. I'm not even holding my breath or crossing my fingers. The others have all been dancing the parts they're most suited for since the beginning of August. Honestly, I won't be at all surprised if I'm only the background ensemble dancer for the last ballet number that we do. Or if I'm relegated to understudy for a background ensemble dancer in case someone breaks a leg or twists an ankle.

Mom and Dad are already talking about tickets and having Nana and Aunt Elizabeth come up for the performance. I think they're getting ahead of themselves. There's no point in Nana and Aunt Bethie coming up here if I'm going to be on stage for thirty seconds. Honestly, I'm really tempted to just not tell anyone when opening night is. Tell them that I wasn't good enough for the fall Gala, and that I'm hard at work for the Nutcracker. There's no point in making a big deal out of nothing.

At least tomorrow I'll know. I'll know and I'll only have to concentrate on whatever my understudy and replacement parts are. A little less stress might be a good thing.


Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License