I began work today after a fun and restful two week break from the ballet. We jumped in with both feet and began work on an exciting ballet called Lambarena. This is a piece we performed several years ago, and it infuses music by Bach with African music. Fittingly, the choreography reflects the music blending ballet with African dance.
Today I realized again how refreshing it can be to revisit a work that was fun to dance the first time. More than that, I was reminded of how much personal mindset can make or break us in this profession (and in life.) When we first learned the piece, it was still fairly early in my career, and although I remember enjoying it, I was in the ensemble (not a lead role.) Naturally, we as dancers get more excited to do a lead part. It's human nature. This time, I am still in the ensemble, but number one: I am excited to be in the piece at all; two: I feel a sense of peace and freedom that comes with knowing that I'm nearing the end and want to make sure I enjoy every last step; three: another one of my favorite teachers-this time from my days at the Rock School of Pennsylvania Ballet (as it was then called) is setting the piece.
She came into the company today and breathed life and enjoyment into the process of learning dance as she always has. She has such an aura around her that sucks you in and reminds you why you love to dance. On a personal level, she is encouraging and kind to all which in return gains her respect and makes the dancer want to work harder. These qualities (as I have observed in my time) are not always widely possessed by artists in the dance world. It is an unfortunate truth that I have learned usually stems from insecurities. (Fortunately, I haven't had to work with too many negative people.) This repetiteur reminded me today that it is possible to be confident in what she had accomplished in her life artistically and still encourage all of us to give our all without taking the joy out of it for us. I hope I can have an eighth of this ability someday.
When she was talking to us and explaining the celebratory nature of the piece, my eyes began to well up (surprise, surprise.) I was suddenly transported back over ten years, and I remembered that this was the teacher who added oxygen to my already ignited passion for dance causing it to burst into flame. I began to evolve from student into artist during my time at the Rock School, and she was the one who taught me that it was okay to love dance.
It seems I am on a roll right now with faces from my past coming into my life and bringing my career full circle. I am ever aware, and I don't care if I repeat this one hundred more times, that I believe that when one puts oneself in line with the correct path, the world comes to you. I hope this continues for me, but for now I want to revel in the experience (humbly of course) as long as it lasts.