Saturday, April 2, 2011

Facing the Past

The ballet studio I tried out last weekend doesn't look to promising.  Not only did I fail to make a great first impression on the director, which jeopardizes my chances of him taking me seriously, but it's to far of a drive and the studio itself wasn't that great.  My immediate thought was that there are no more options for classical ballet in southern California.  I had serious doubts about everything after that class.  Maybe the time had come for me to wake up and realize that nothing was working out and that God was telling me to stop.
The last year has had so many up and downs, roadblocks and obstacles, feelings of one extreme to the next.  One minute I'm on top of the world and not five seconds later everything comes crashing down.  I was done fighting a losing battle.  I even asked myself out loud at the end of that day, “What am I supposed to think now?”
Of course there is another option that I could explore.  If I'm brave enough.  California Ballet has open adult classes that I could drop in to and see how things are going there.  Would I dare show my face again after giving up a scholarship and wasting my good opportunity?  I left that place looking like I didn't care about ballet.  If I told them that I cried myself to sleep many nights because my future as a ballet dancer looked doomed who would believe me or understand?  Even I don't fully understand my irrational mind.
Maybe I should recap my history at California Ballet.  The director of the school saw me dance in a recital and offered me a scholarship that I didn't have to think twice about accepting.  I was extremely shy and didn't talk to people I didn't know very well.  This affected everything I did.  I was certain wherever I went everyone was talking about me or looking at me weird, and that I was somehow automatically abnormal and not worth getting to know.  My first days at the ballet school were hard.  I was miles behind the other girls in my training and the teachers always yelled at me.  It got easier as I caught up and got an unexpected promotion to the next level.  This happiness didn't last forever.  I was known as the weird girl that didn't talk.  I hardly socialized with the other girls, and my anxieties made it impossible for me to stand tall and proud like a ballerina.  One of my teachers was constantly on my case about pulling up.  You wouldn't think such a small correction would be so difficult.  I was capable of course, but for some reason my mind convinced me I would stand out more if I followed the correction.  That was probably true, but it would be in a good way.  To this day I don't understand why I worried about what the teachers might think if I actually followed a correction.  It wasn't the following through with the correction I was concerned about, it was the attempt to and the possibility of doing it wrong, making me look stupid.  The ironic thing was, in my obsession to avoid standing out in a bad way and coming off as weird it made me look even stranger.  
I got to the point where these fears had to be put to rest.  The pressure increased when my classmates and I reached the level they begin to consider who to take as an apprentice to the company. Lets imagine I managed to overcome everything that was holding me back and they hired me.  That was hard enough on it's own, but what about what came next?  If I was lucky and got what I wanted I would be a rookie rehearsing with the company, which is intimidating for any ballet student, especially one like me.   I wasn't at all ready for any of it.  I left, so sure I would never set foot in that studio again.  At the time I was glad, now not so much.
So yes, I am brave enough to show my face their again.  I'm not willing to give up if there is still a sliver of a chance to make my longtime dream a reality.  I decided this week to take a class at Cal Bal to see if I still like it there and if it would be a better fit than the other studio I tried.  It might be a little scary.  I'm a different person now and I've grown so much since those days.  God has released me from those hindering anxieties.  But it's much easier going into a new situation with people who don't have any preconceived notions about you.  Maybe no one will recognize me, or even remember me.  This isn't the end of the story though.  I thought I had things figured out, but as usual that's when I realize I really don't.  In my next post I'll talk about what has been burdening me this whole last week.

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