14 April 2013

Performing on Stage

The White Ballet by Everett Shinn, 1904

When I was a little girl, I read Angelina Ballerina and decided that I wanted to learn how to dance ballet. I got my chance when I was around eight years old, when a nearby community arts center began offering ballet classes. They ran from fall to spring, and at the end of each year the arts center would host a recital where dancers from all their classes would perform. I participated in the recital three times, but I think the first one was my favorite since we danced to "Waltz of the Sugarplum Fairy" from The Nutcracker.

A couple of years into my ballet lessons, I actually auditioned for and was given a small part in a local production of The Nutcracker. It was a bizarre experience, going back and forth to the nearest state college for rehearsals and even missing a couple of days of school for matinees. I didn't end up enjoying my time in the show very much, mostly due to the attitudes of the people in charge. All in all, it was a big disappointment for me.

I wound up growing out of my ballet phase for a variety of reasons. I had been fairly good at it when I first started, but an ankle injury combined with increased klutziness as I aged plateaued my skill. I also became aware that as I progressed in level, only classmates who had a serious interest in dance or performing arts remained. My interest was more casual, so when I reached pre-pointe I decided to move on from ballet.

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