I really need to be doing homework right now but I’m way too excited.
I was pondering dance and my commitment to it over the past couple weeks. I mean, if I’m not going professional, is it really worth my continuing to invest so much effort, energy, and emotional space into it? If I’m never going to be good enough to perform, why should I keep trying to get there? It’s like beating my head against a brick wall. Not gonna get me anywhere. So, what’s the point of it all? Ah, if only life made that answer more readily available to the general public.
But I worked up the nerve to go talk with Julie last week, and I’ve continued to think about these things since then. And you know what? I’ve decided something.
I’m a dancer. I don’t just like dance. I am a dancer. Take that way from me, and I lose part of my identity. I can’t not dance. It doesn’t matter if I’m any good. It doesn’t matter if I never get better than I am now. It doesn’t matter that I don’t want to go professional. That’s not the point. The point is, I’m a dancer. And I do it because I love it.
What better reason is there to invest one hundred and ten percent of your energies in something?
So hello. I’m Anna. I’m a dancer. I’m no good by professional standards and I don’t ever want a career performing. But boy do I love it and boy does it make me happy and there’s nothing better than feeling like your body’s disintegrating because you’ve worked it too hard on too little sleep.
This past week was a wonderful one, from a dance perspective. So many amazing things, so much happiness, so many wonderful people. Sacred Dance has been a bit of a life-saver so far this semester. Fellowship with a bunch of sometimes-crazy, always-kind, like-minded young women…you can’t get much better than that. Sacred meets for two hours every Saturday morning. There’s always a bible study first, with a lesson and time to just lay quiet and meditate and pray, and often with music to improv to. It’s a beautiful thing, feeling like there’s a way I can speak without having to use words. I’m not all that great with those. But dancing…I can speak with that. It probably doesn’t always look like much, but that’s ok, that’s not the point.
After bible study, we either work on the group piece (a short dance that everyone learns, which we can then take to churches in the area or to Chapel on campus, depending on who is free what days), or we split up into groups and work on individual pieces that way. This year, my group is doing an Advent piece. I get to dance to Christmas music. I’ve never done this before. When my choreographer said we’d be doing a piece to Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel…it was a beautiful moment, folks. And plus my choreographer is awesome and wears purple shirts and gives people hugs and is crazy and nice and generally really just plain epic. <3 And I get to dance with other awesome lovely people too. And it’s going to be so much fun, guys. I’m so, so excited for Sacred this year…it’s only going to get better. =)
Auditions for Ballet Club’s Nutcracker production were this past week as well. They were pretty rotten, for me. I don’t think I’ve done so horribly in an audition setting in my life. Part of that would be the fact that there were literally upwards of eighty people crammed into one small dance studio and we all got a grand total of about six inches of barre space. Another part of that would be that I’m surviving off too little sleep and a mind filled with turmoil most of the time, and the auditions were from 6:30 to 9:00 at night and I don’t think I was awake for any of it. It was a pretty lousy night.
But casting just happened tonight, and we all went back to the Dow to hear our names called and find out who gets to dance where. I got Snow. I’m a Snowflake.
It’s been my dream to be a Snowflake ever since I was three years old and my sister and I would watch our old VHS tape of Balanchine’s Nutcracker with the New York City Ballet on our tiny little television, every. single. day. Every day. And dance along on the Loft Room rug, and hum every song, and quiz each other on the names of every variation. I’ve only been in the Nutcracker twice in my life (a rare phenomenon for a ballet dancer of sixteen years, I must say). And I was only ever a Soldier or a Mouse. One of those parts that our Director gave to the mediocre dancers. Only the really good girls got Snow.
But there’s a dream of sixteen years coming true this year. I get to be Snow. =) …Also, there’s a chance that it won’t be on pointe. Not gonna lie, I’m kind of really hoping it isn’t. My abilities to look good while I dance decrease drastically when pointe shoes get thrown into the mix. =P But either way, I’m so, so happy about it. =))
Dance this year is helping me discover how nice people can be if you just talk to them. I don’t usually say much to people unless they start the conversation. Being shy isn’t a curse, but it’s definitely not a blessing either, in a lot of ways. But this year, it’s going to be different. Because if I say hello, they say hi back. And no one will ever pass up a free hug. And heck, if I love these guys, why should I be scared of them? Seriously. Where’s the logic. I spent quite a bit of last year watching other people interact together and wishing very hard that I could be the one getting the hug and the hello and the love, for once. But you don’t really get those things unless you show other people that you want them. That you like them. Both the hugs and the people themselves. It’s funny, how shy people can come across as intimidating and a bit scary to normal people…when really they are the ones who are intimidated and scared. So what I’m trying to say is…maybe by the time I graduate college I’ll be brave enough to almost pass as a normal person. \m/ …I mean, minus the fact that I wear bowties and suspenders, and write in Elvish, and quote River Song at every available moment…
Dance is wonderful. Dance is slowly helping tear down some of the walls that I built around myself in and after Highschool. I came into college with the vow that I was going to get in, and get out. Take only photographs, and leave no footprints. There’s been too much anguish in my life over the past few years because The Potter’s School was my life, and then I graduated. The last thing I want is to love more people who I’ll never see again once I graduate.
But I’ve decided that maybe…it’s ok to have friends again.