the journey to paid professional performing artist

Yea!! You’re in a show!  You’re rehearsing six days a week.  You’re so busy.  You’re so happy!  You let your regular stay fit routine slide.  You stress about starting class, getting back to running and strength training.

Well, I’m already stressing about ballet class.  I have been rehearsing so much for Crazy for You that I haven’t had time to go to class.  Big mistake.  I went to ballet class Monday for the first time in a while, and it was hard!  I had the opportunity to take another class just two days later, and that was even harder!

Most dancers have heard the “ballet is the basis of all dance” lecture.  I’ve even heard it from tappers and the Rockettes, everyone believes it.  And it is so true!  You may not love ballet; I happen to enjoy it very much.  Within the confines of the technique there is a freedom that can be achieved.  It’s that feeling that keeps me dancing.  And it can only be truly achieved with the proper technique.

More practically, ballet is the dancer’s medicine, therapy.  It aligns the body and reminds you of how you’re supposed to move.  For me, staying in touch with my core is always a challenge.  Ballet helps me focus on that.  Especially now, when I’m playing a showgirl.  You’re supposed to stick your butt out and look cute.  However, you can’t successfully accomplish the harder dance moves with that posture.  So I have to go back to my ballet basics to pull off the dance routines.

After my Monday class, my teacher, Adrienne Dellas Thornton, suggested that I go to rehearsal a half hour early and give myself a ballet barre.  She always has the best suggestions!  We do warm-up for rehearsal, but it’s more of a jazz warm-up, and I don’t think it was doing the trick for me.  So the next day I did just that.  I was sore from class the previous day, but I felt great for rehearsal.  The next day was that super hard second class of the week.  I’m glad it was that difficult.  That means I did something positive in giving myself barre before rehearsal, and am gaining my turnout and core strength back.

Moral of this experience; never leave your training just because you’re in a show.  Being in a show is the ultimate goal.  However, if you can’t keep yourself up while in it, how are you going to be good enough to get the next show?  So find the time to do what you need to do.  Even if your fellow actors and dancers think you’re nuts 🙂

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