Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Not What I Thought It Would Be
Nutcracker rehearsals didn't start until the middle of October, and until then everything was unfolding beautifully. I was behind in my training but wasn't worried because I was finally taking classes that were catching me up. My teacher told me she could tell how hard I was working and that my effort was appreciated. One day during adagio, which is one of my favorite parts of class, she said I had given her a glimpse of what was to come in the future and it was glorious to see. I could feel myself improving and was excited at the progress I was making.
Then things started to spiral downwards. Nutcracker rehearsals made me change my life to fit a schedule that goes against my personality. I'm kind of like an old lady because I go to bed early, I don't like eating too late, I want all my meals to be at regular times, and I love going to church on Sundays. It's just the way I am. The life of a ballet dancer doesn't allow one to have that lifestyle. Rehearsals and shows are scheduled in such a way that makes eating regular meals impossible, and are often late. I missed dinner some nights because I didn't get home until nine, and every weekend there was a long string of rehearsals with no breaks, causing me to skip lunch. I don't think dancers are able to perform their best if they aren't able to fuel themselves, so I don't understand why the people in charge didn't give us a chance to eat. I saw a few girls run to grab fruit or nuts when possible, but I still don't think it was adequate nourishment to get through a whole day of difficult dances.
Another thing I hated was missing church on Sunday mornings. The company's day off was Monday, but Sundays always consisted of a full day of rehearsing. I would watch my family head off to service without me, and every time I wanted to be going with them.
Being involved in the Nutcracker requires hours of rehearsal time, and I completely understand that it's necessary when preparing for a show. It was hard for me to be at the studio for that long though, because I was not comfortable with the other people there. My previous post explained how I disliked the way the other dancers behaved towards one another, and I didn't fit in to begin with. I was able to deal with it when I was only going to class then coming right home, but when Nutcracker rehearsals began I was spending all day with those people. There were a few others I got along with, but I couldn't stand the way most of the dancers put down their competition. The atmosphere at the studio was horribly unpleasant and I felt the negative environment draining everything out of me. I would be exhausted at the end of the day and it was all because of the mental strain it took to be in such an bleak place.
I had wanted nothing more than to be in a show, fully absorbed in the ballet world. I got what I wanted, and it felt like a surprise attack. No one expects their dream life to make them so unhappy. When I used to picture myself rehearsing for a performance, wishing with all my heart that it could be more than a fantasy, I always saw myself glad to be there. The very thing I wished for was turning into something I wanted to run from, yet I still wasn't sure I should give up. After all, I fought so hard for it. I convinced myself that I just needed some time to get used to everything, but as you will see in my next post I only continued to sink deeper into my newfound misery.
Posted by Kristina at 11:26 AM