Well, I did it. I performed my first real recital for the General’s studio. “How did it go?” You may ask? Well, better then expected.
The first number was our pointe dance. I loved this dance, but is was challenging. My biggest worry was falling, but that fear quickly dissipated when I learned that the floor was not at all slippery. Then was the secondary fears – forgetting choreography and failing to perform. It seemed that I forgot some step in every dance I was in. I would get so wrapped up in trying to remember what the next move was, I inevitably forget something because I was just thinking too much about it. Make any sense??
Then there was the performance aspect. I just wanted to dance, feel the music and show the audience that this isn’t just steps in sequence, it’s art. This was probably the most challenging aspect of them all.
I practiced feverishly behind the curtain while the audience took their seats. I thought to myself, “I can’t forget my choreography. I just can’t!” We took our places on stage and my heart started to race. The curtain went up and the lights shone on us – “Well, here goes nothing.” Everything started out smoothly. Then, it happened. You guessed it, I forgot my choreography. I totally biffed my arabesque. My reaction? I smiled widely (even though we weren’t supposed to) and just kept going. No one is going to stop this ballet train!
The dance was over and I walked into the wing. At that point, all I wanted to do was melt into the floor, but I couldn’t. I had two more dances to perform. I was terrified. “What if I forget again??” I have to admit – I panicked. I sat there and watched all the girls perform and all I could think was what a terrible decision I made to agree to do this. I will never be as good as any of these girls. I can’t even remember simple choreography!
Time moved on and we got closer and closer to the second act. During the intermission, me, Ms. Disney and my little sis practiced on the stage. I was nervous, which was making me dizzy. My turns were not going very well. I couldn’t even do a simple drag! So much stress. I just wanted it to be over.
Finally, came our ballet 1 dance. This was the simplest of the three dances I was in. Good thing too – I needed an ego boost. When it was our turn, I walked on stage and took my place. Then, something happened. I bet you won’t guess this one for sure. For those of you who have had children, you will understand what I’m about to say. Yeah – I kind of peed a little (so very little). I know – “totally gross LB”, but it’s true. As soon as it happened, I panicked a little more. Clearly, my nerves got the best of me, but as they say in show business, “the show must go on”. The curtain went up and I was ready to do my thing. As the music began, I could see the audience staring at us. I started to move and it’s like something just clicked. As gross as this may sound, for some reason that release was all I needed. Who knew that urine could be so powerful?! I finally started to relax and dance. Once I trusted myself that I would not forget the choreography, I was able to finally perform the dance! Was it perfect? Probably not, but that wasn’t my goal. The music ended and I rushed off the stage feeling so proud of myself. I knew that all of the worry I have endured was unnecessary. I was ready to take on the third and final dance number, which was the most challenging of the three.
I ran upstairs and changed into my favorite costume. (Bye, bye pee.). My last costume was an emerald green, turquoise-like, ensemble and it was probably the most flattering on all of us dancers. There were only two numbers in between our next dance, so I didn’t have much time to over think things. I took my place on the stage and I could feel my insides start to light up! Don’t worry – There was no pee this time! As soon as the music started to play, once again, I felt my body relax and do what I have been training for the last year to do. I really enjoyed dancing to this number. The music was upbeat and the choreography was more challenging, but beautiful and strong. As expected, I flubbed my double pirouette. I did, however, land my turning attitudes and (sort of) completed my double outside turn. The key is that I didn’t fall and I didn’t forget the choreography! Yeah me!
Then came the aftermath. “What was my family going to think about what I just did?” “Did they notice my flaws?” “Did they like it?” “Did they even care??” I suppose it doesn’t really matter. This was for me, not them. But I did want my family to approve. To my surprise, my biggest fan was my mom. She never gives compliments and she was practically gushing about how impressed she was by me. My mom said I was very “elegant” so “graceful” on stage. I have been described as many things over the last 34 years of my life, but no one has ever used the terms “elegant” or “graceful” to describe LB. I was touched by my mother’s sincere and encouraging words. Made me feel accomplished. All the work really has been worth while.
So, when everything was said and done, the experience was a good one. This past year had its ups and downs (some really heartbreaking downs, mind you) but I am proud of what I have become. Dare I say, a dancer?! I would like to think so.
I am really, really, excited about this upcoming year. I have learned so much and I am ready to buckle down and do it alllll over again. What a rush this has all been! It’s all so exhilarating!!!
And by the way – thank you, everyone. You have been so supportive of me through all of this. It is impossible to fail when you have so many wonderful people cheering you on. Thank you so much for all the encouragement. It has helped me so much; you have no idea!!
In conclusion – happy dancing people!!!