Tag Archive | Dance

the “c” word

cword

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. College.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about whether or not I want to go. Obviously my parents want me to. The hard part is trying to factor in whether or not that really matters to me. You see, I want to be a dancer, there’s no mistake about that. The question is, how do I get there? I don’t want to be a ballerina. Contemporary and commercial dance are where my heart’s at. I don’t necessarily need to go to college to be able to do those, I just think my parents believe that all successful roads in life start with university.

The problem, part two: I don’t want to waste the first four years of my adulthood, when I could be joining a company/agency or getting better training and seeing the world (London, specifically), trapped taking jazz and working towards a useless bachelor’s degree. I wanna do exciting things and meet exciting people. I want to dance.

Some of my friends’ life goals look like this: graduate high school, go to college and get a meaningless degree, and maybe work a little bit before marrying a dude and raising his family. I’d rather not. I have ambitions. Every day college starts to seem less like an achievement to aspire towards and more like a roadblock on the path to what I really want to do. I’m in the eleventh grade and the reason for everything I do nowadays has been reduced to “It’ll look good on your transcript.”

I overheard a conversation between a friend and his mother when they were the car yesterday. He told her that he didn’t want to go to uni because voice acting was the career he was after, which made college somewhat unnecessary. His mother said to him, “Will you feel the same way when you can’t feed your own family?” and that swiftly ended the conversation. Tense silence in the car.

Our parents just want the best for us. But I’m not ready to dedicate more anxiety, time, and money thinking about something that will determine the course of my adulthood. It’s too big for sixteen. I just want to dance honestly.

— Bethany.

new year, no fear

?????????????????

Winter break is officially over for me. I arrived back at my ballet studio two days ago, and I’m proud to admit that even after a month of vacation, I have not fallen out of shape in the slightest. That didn’t stop my calves from complaining, though.

This is my first year in company, and this season we’re putting on “The Carnival of the Animals” ballet as composed by Saint-Saens. The little composer in me is still fangirling over the music; there’s nothing like an instrumental. I’m in the aquarium dance, which happens to be my favorite movement in the piece. It sounds so otherworldly. On Monday the dancers worked on a couple of combinations and phrases set to the music, and I’m excited to see what our instructor has planned.

So far, the new year has been going well for me. I can’t complain. I get to wake up every morning and, schoolwork aside, do what I love, whether it’s writing, dancing, or composing music myself. I’m excited to see where 2014 will take me.

Oh, pointe shoes. How I have missed you.

— Bethany.

 

 

the unemployment blues

unemploymentblues

I’ve been eligible to work for almost two months now, and I still haven’t been able to get a job. I’m working on it, though.

I think I’ve applied to like, thirteen places. No matter how hard I try or how many references I list, I can’t persuade anyone to hire me. And I know exactly why. It’s my schedule. When January comes, I’m going to be taking five ballet classes a week, which leaves me maybe three days open for work, depending on where the place is (no license yet). Apparently that’s not very appealing to many places of business?? Go figure.

All that aside, it’s Nutcracker season in the ballet world, and my studio is two weeks away from the production. That being said, my repertoire class is nowhere near being ready, but I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll be one of those times where things sort of fall together at the last minute like my life. Dance has been my outlet to take my mind off of my current unemployment… being in my pointe shoes running “Waltz of the Snowflakes” makes me feel amazing, even if there are people who still don’t know what they’re doing. We’re helping each other. Dance is helping me. Next session I’ll be making my debut in the Lakewood Ballet Company, after four long months of apprenticeship. Life is good.

But I still need a job.

–Bethany.

snapshots [5/52]

Again, we’re running a bit behind with this project, but better late than never, right?

1425618_577055712363555_2108331033_n

{bethany} preparing for the nutcracker (it’s gonna be en pointe, ba-dum-tsss)

snapshots [6-52]

{maddie} a beautiful view

kit's photo 4 shapshots post

{krysta} waiting at the bus stop for the girls she nannies (in a pile of crunchy leaves)

a short post about sacrifice

sacrifice

Over the past few weeks, Fate has often been reminding me about the amount of sacrifice involved in the life of a dancer. Not that I’d had any doubts before; sometimes I just like to think of myself as being exempt from the rules. Regardless, I’ve had to make some decisions lately that were less than enjoyable.

A lot of people say that children who want to make careers out of ballet don’t have enough “fun” or they simply don’t have childhoods at all. I’ve had my fair share of sleepovers and trips to the movies (see this post and this one) not at the expense of my dance training, maybe even more than most. But as I grow closer and closer to my nearest goal, I’ve had to say goodbye to some things I would have been doing otherwise.

I had to give up modeling. For the entire season, maybe forever. It was causing schedule conflict with ballet and, much to my close friend and fellow model Jasmine’s disappointment, I had to resign. I was also unable to make it to two recent sixteenth birthday parties because of dance. Which I felt bad about.

But you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My friends understand that for me going to dance class is just as important as going to school. Ballet is what I love, and I don’t believe it’s compromising my childhood; just the opposite, really. I can’t imagine a life without dance. I wish everyone had something so pure and steadfast to be a part of… I feel very lucky. Dance is my bridge to take me places, and eventually, London. I’m getting closer every day. The time and the effort and the sacrifice just continue to validate me.

It’s a really nice feeling.

— Bethany.

back on my grind.

BWEBOafIQAAZBB7It’s Bethany again. This week my ankle has suffered a ballet-related sprain; and while it did put me out of three weeks worth of technique classes, I’ll have you know that the rest of my schedule has not slowed down in the slightest. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a girl in possession of at least one good ankle must be in want of something to do, and I’m no exception. I’ve been constantly on the go since my birth 16th birthday, and with my ankle quickly healing, school, and modeling season starting back up I’ll definitely have my plate full this fall.

Last time I was here, I was writing about dance schools I’d like to train at, so I thought I’d give you an update on how that’s going: I seem to have found the one. The Joffrey Ballet School up in New York City. It’s funny, because it wasn’t even on the list of places I’d mentioned before, but as soon as I found it I fell in love. The summer intensive takes place at the beginning of June until the end of July 2014, meaning that I’d be away for seven weeks. The tuition (including housing and meals) is steep, so this past Sunday I sent in an essay to apply for a scholarship. Since then I’ve been very nervously awaiting my results (which won’t come until Thanksgiving-time) and texting Krysta non-stop about it.

Me: “I really, really hope I get this scholarship.”

Krysta: “THERE’S PIE IN MY HOUSE, BYE.”

Even prior to my blog post about dance schools, I wrote about job-hunting, and I’m a little sad to say that I’ve had no luck so far. I have, however, applied for team member positions at Wendy’s and Subway, and if I get either of those, I’ll be working for about 20 hours a week. Gotta start saving up to help pay for dance and get to England. As weird as it sounds, I’m really excited to be getting a job. I love having things to do.

Wish me luck!

–Bethany.

snapshots [3/52]

A week of playgrounds, musicals, and injuries.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

{bethany} elevating the sprained ankle

ghdi

{maddie} found the best reference ever in her textbook

playground1 playground2

{krysta} the park she takes her girls to (and the rules that they ignore)