As you may or may not know, I had Nutcracker auditions last Saturday. I was feeling really confident having had several really strong ballet classes earlier in the week. My ballet teachers reassured me several times that the audition process would be very similar to class. I went in super confident, but left feeling like I had let myself down.

I could go into grand detail about all the minute things that made me feel uncomfortable and analyze all of the steps that I did incorrectly or couldn’t do at all, but I don’t want to do that. It is over. I did what I could and I really hope that the teachers take into account my roles last year and how I perform in class. I decided that I just wouldn’t think about it again until the casting results were announced. Impossible, of course.

Last night, while a few friends were over, my brother, not know how auditions went, said to his friend “My sister is an amazing dancer! She just auditioned for the Nutcracker!”. Of course everyone started asking how auditions went and I said something along the lines of “Oh, well, it went okay. I think I did alright. It could have been better… but I did the best I could at the time and that is worth a lot. Anyways, I will still have fun dancing, even if I have a smaller part”.

Luis, my boyfriend, said that is sounded like I was trying to convince myself of what I just said. And I was trying to convince myself. Just putting myself out there was worth a lot, right? In front of the friends that we had over I was trying so hard to convince myself  that just trying out was an accomplishment.

After the auditions I felt like crying. Nothing went as well as I wanted it to and I’m terrified of getting a “lesser” role than I had last year.

Tears were welling up in my eyes as I walked out of the building, but I was determined not to let my disappointment show until I could hide in the safety and privacy of my car. As I walked to my car I passed a teen-aged girl had just auditioned with me and she was weeping in her mother’s arms. She was saying she “blew it” and that she had “totally messed up”.

I realized instantly that she was the girl that I had been following out of the corner of my eye during auditions. She was the girl that I thought danced so beautifully and had done everything almost perfectly. She was the girl that I watched and thought “Man, if only I could dance like her, then I’d get the part I want”. And there she was a few cars down from me, being held by her mom while she sobbed…I was so stunned that this beautiful dancer felt exactly the same way I did that I forgot to cry.

I’m still trying to convince myself that no matter what I will have fun.The thing is, I know I will be really bummed if I don’t at least get the parts I had last year… *Sigh*

My Nutcracker: Part 6

It is inevitable. It is blind and unbiased. It can happen to anyone at anytime. And, eventually, it will happen to everyone. Falling on stage is, I believe, a dancers greatest fear. Ballet isn’t just about perfection, ballet is perfection. Falling is the harsh reality the we, the dancers, are only human. What I hope audiences understand is that even the best ballerinas will slip and stumble. 

During our last performance, our lead Mirliton fell flat on her back just at the end of her series of fouetté turns. I was watching from the second wing on stage right and her fouettés looked perfect until that very last second before she hit the floor. Right before it happened, I remember thinking that she had already turned long enough and that she might be going for too long. I was scared she would miss the next music cue. Maybe that is why she fell?

I think the sound of her body hitting the stage was the worst. The small golden flute she was holding skidded across the stage as the audience gasped collectively. True terror. The two other Mirlitons on stage only broke character for a split second as they paused to see if their fallen leader would get up again. I would have ran off the stage crying, but she smiled to the ceiling whilst flat on her back and waved to the crowd as she stood up and got back in line to finish the dance. I could tell she was hurting very badly, but she seemed determined to finish the dance as gracefully as possible. The three Mirlitons finished the dance perfectly in time with the music and as they exited stage right, one of the girls even rescued the flung flute with an improvised port de bras movement before rushing off the stage. 

Ballet is perfect and we are not; that is ok. 


My Nutcracker: Part 7

We were very fortunate to have two amazing guest artist from the Houston Ballet. Lauren Strongin and Charles-Louis Yoshiyama are both soloists at the Houston ballet. They were beyond fabulous and I enjoyed every single second of watching them perform. Ms. Strongin had amazing ballon and Mr. Yohiyama looked as if he could spin for days. It was magical to watch them dance as the Sugarplum Fairy and Cavalier. 

I've Known Since Monday

I’ve known since Monday, but I did not want to say anything for a while because I wanted to make sure it was real. After everything that has happened with my foot injury over the summer, I was fully resigned to the fact that I would have to wait until next year to make one of my dreams come true and try-out for The Nutcracker. Yet, the ups and and downs of life always have a way of balancing out. 

I am officially in this years production of The Nutcracker!!!!! Even though I have been unable to dance for the past couple months and I was unable to try-out for the Nutcracker, my amazing and supportive teachers felt comfortable enough in my dancing abilities to cast me in the show even without an audition. I’m honored and beyond thrilled to be one step closer to my dreams, but I am terrified at the same time. My teachers have faith that I will be performance ready in time and that is a lot pressure coming back from a serious injury. Not that they are pushing me to return too soon and aggravate my injury! I just want to be at my best for them and for myself.

Anyways, enough with the feelings, and feelings about feelings, and feelings feelings, and one feeling that turns into another feeling… :P

I know that when someone says “I’m in the Nutcracker!” the immediate response of the other person is “What parts did you get???”. 

I am a Snowflake and a Lilac Flower! I promise to write more about my first Nutcracker rehearsals (which happened yesterday) later. Right now I’m floating away on a cloud of happiness towards my second rehearsals later today! 

Never give up on dreams, people! 
Love, Lillie