Wednesday, January 4, 2012
A Difficult Decision
As October passed into November the number of rehearsals I attended grew. I wasn't eager to admit to anyone how unhappy I was, even to those I'm closest to. One day I couldn't stand to keep it to myself anymore, and I reluctantly told my mom that things were not turning out quite the way I planned. I think she must have sensed it because she didn't seem surprised. We decided that I should get through Nutcracker to see if I enjoyed being in a show before determining whether or not I would continue pursuing a career in dance. I still loved to dance so I thought it was wise not to quit.
The month of November was a time for reflection. I learning quite a bit about myself as I thought long and hard about what it was that drew me to ballet. I started to see a pattern when I realized I enjoyed taking class, and the best days were the ones that didn't include any rehearsals. I liked the regular routine of barre and center, and it was a thrill to accomplish something I had previously struggled with. My list of reasons for why I love ballet did not contain the performing aspect of it. A performer lives for dancing in front of an audience, but maybe I'm only meant to dance for myself. I had assumed that because I love ballet I would be blissfully happy dancing on stage, but I was beginning to see that wasn't the case.
Thanksgiving drew near and I was looking forward to having some time off. Unfortunately the ballet mistress planned my break for me, scheduling rehearsals from ten until two on Saturday and Sunday. I had been expecting a few days off and was disappointed because I wanted to pick out a Christmas tree with my family, go to church with them on Sunday, and get some much needed distance from the negativity I'd been drowning in. Even though I was able to get the tree Saturday after rehearsal, knowing I would be back at the studio the very next day for the same amount of time took something away from the experience. I couldn't help but dread what awaited me Sunday.
The sacrifices I was making for Nutcracker would have made sense if I truly desired being on stage. I was willing to put up with all the bad stuff when I thought it would ultimately lead to happiness, but when I realized I didn't actually care for performing I lost all motivation. I didn't want to finish out the Nutcracker, but I had to didn't I? I was sure the carefully planned cast list would be thrown off if I was no longer in the show, or that I would look weak by backing out. My mom said it wasn't weak to remain true to who you are, and my dad was strongly against me spending the holidays depressed, yet I couldn't convince myself that I shouldn't just suck it up and get through it. The other girls would surely have things to say about me. I had already left once, and now after asking the teachers to accept me and let me come back I was quitting again. I also felt like I was letting down my teacher who had taken such an interest in me, and seemed genuinely excited about my future. If I really decided to back out of Nutcracker, what would everyone think of me?
Posted by Kristina at 4:31 PM