Yesterday, the 2011-2012 ballet school year came to a close as the curtain came down after our final bows in our spring concert – and wow, what an amazing year it has been!
I always say this, but this year more than ever I feel it to be true: I can’t believe the year is already over! It went by so quickly!
It certainly doesn’t feel like almost a year has passed since I was packing away last year’s costumes and eagerly awaiting the start of a new year.
So much has changed about me since a year ago today – all of it for the better – and I’m quite proud of my achievements thus far in one year’s time! What was different? Everything. Seriously!
My weight (I look awesome now!), my confidence, my approach to everything, my outlook on life, my wisdom, my ballet technique, my habits, my health, my maturity, my strength, my ability…all of it has improved over the last year, and going into any more detail about how much I’ve changed would just be too long of a blog post! But, in short, I am really pleased with who I am today, especially when I consider who I was a year ago, and the obvious contrast between the two Me’s.
But the end of the ballet school year only means one thing to me – the start of what is sure to be an incredible summer! I have an adventure coming my way, guys!
I am taking this coming week off to let my body have some much-needed (and, dare I say it, well-earned) rest, in the hopes that it will not only refresh my muscles in general but bring some relief to my many lingering injuries.
After a week of rest, a wild ride begins! First, I have two weeks of a local summer program here near my house. This is just a kind of ‘maintenance’ type program. Although it is considered a summer intensive – rightfully so, since we’ll be dancing from 10:00-4:00 – to me it is more something to keep me in shape until I get to my real summer programs! Of course I will go in open-minded and willing to learn, but I am going in there with the attitude of a professional, and not as a student. Take class, learn something new if the opportunity presents itself, but stay true to myself and my dancing ways (ie. Vaganova)!
Immediately after those two weeks (actually, I will miss the last day of the program), I board a plane to Israel, where I will stay for 3 weeks and dance, train, visit family and friends, and have a generally awesome time balancing my life between ballet and the beach! What more does anyone need?! Haha!
3 weeks after my arrival in Israel, I head off to Salzburg, Austria for what I consider to be my ‘main’ summer program at Salzburg International Ballet Academy. Oh, what fun awaits me there! I can only fantasize for now! But I know it will be amazing. Besides having the opportunity to visit another country I have not yet been to, and meeting new people from all over the world, participating in this program has the potential to open many new doors toward my future in ballet. and could present some pretty awesome opportunities for me down the road. Well, we will see! If anything, I know at least that I will be in the presence of many other students with a passion for ballet, and I will have the privilege to study under some great teachers. I certainly look forward to that experience!
And finally, before heading back home in August, I get one final week in Israel to recuperate before a new year and spend a little more time with my family that I only get to see once or twice a year (or, unfortunately, sometimes less often)!
Rest assured, I will be updating all throughout my summer with pictures and extensive descriptions of my adventures! But be forewarned – this is my disclaimer to you that you may very well find yourself awfully jealous of me. Haha🙂
Now, for some deep reflections and more lessons I’ve learned which I will put to use straight away and apply to myself. I’m always working to improve myself, constantly!
So, this weekend we had our spring concerts which went really well. Because of everything that was going on, I found myself with horribly sore feet and this deep, undeniable exhaustion by the time showtime rolled around. Add in my injuries to the mix and a few new blisters, and you get this kind of inconvenient situation.
As a ballerina – this is something you learn to accept. Blisters? Injuries? Exhaustion? Yeah, ok. You deal.
And as I was telling myself this backstage, I was starting to feel awfully wimpy for pitying myself and feeling sorry for myself!
But then I realized, well, it doesn’t have to be this way, now does it?
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying it’s ok to pity oneself – generally, I don’t think that’s a good habit to get into. I try to catch myself when I’m feeling run down and tired and stop myself from complaining, because that does no good.
What I mean is that I realized that just because blisters and injuries and tiredness are a reality and, quite honestly, a somewhat unavoidable (to a degree) part of a ballerina’s life, it doesn’t mean I have to fall victim to them and let them be a good excuse for not doing my very best.
It was at this point that I realize what the key is: Prevention.
What I need to go to feel good and so that I don’t have any more problems with blisters, shoes, tiredness, etc. is to make sure I do my best to prevent this sort of thing from happening in the first place. I know – how obvious, right?! But it’s not something that really occurred to me until now. I always kind of succumed to the fact that, ‘ok, I’m going to have blisters and I’m going to be tired and that’s that.’ But why in the world?! Yes, sometimes its not avoidable. But many times, it is!
I know not to expect perfect conditions all the time – or at all – but it also doesn’t mean I should not work toward reaching as best conditions as possible! The world is not black and white, and that’s a dangerous way to see the world if you do. It’s better to see the shades of gray, but still there’s no reason not to see it in full color! And that’s what I choose to do. Make the BEST possible choice, even if it’s not perfect, and the BEST version of you will result. Doing something [or not doing something] just because conditions are not perfect to do what you REALLY want to do is essentially giving up on yourself. Well, I don’t give up on anything, especially not on myself. In order to be consistent with that, I have to recognize that the only way to follow through with that is to do the best thing possible in any given situation. It is to live your world in color; not in shades of gray, and certainly not in black and white, but in HD color!