As I write…she’s off living life…her best life.
This last year away from the sheltered environs of a ballet company, my daughter discovered, much to her delight and mine, that the dance world is bigger and more exciting than she ever imagined.
Auditioning for a few companies known for their contemporary repertoire, she met dancers from around the world as well as the United States. While competing for single digit job openings, there was not the subtle and not-so-subtle rivalry that can often accompany “cattle call” auditions for ballet companies. Yes, there were 95 auditioning for one or two jobs with a German company, but my daughter spoke highly of the amazing three dancers who were asked to remain, while she and the others were thanked and let go. Having made it to the last group of 12 was enough of an ego boost for her.
Earlier in the spring, my daughter again broadened her dance experience when she returned to Houston to work with the Grand Opera’s CARMEN. The director and a seasoned cast of NYC dancers were brought in for the production. For the first time my daughter was in the company of dancers whose careers ran the gamut from Broadway shows, to TV dance competitions and commercials, to feature films, to videos, to award shows. She felt giddy knowing she was among an elite group of professionals, but she loved them even more for how down-to-earth they were off stage. And they loved her as much it seems, for they encouraged my daughter to move to New York to join their ranks.
Already committed to train with a former mentor and coach, my daughter returned to Nashville several weeks ago. Working with the woman’s small, fledgling contemporary dance company my daughter will decide whether or not she will remain after the summer. Meanwhile she is having the time of her life.
My daughter thrives when challenged. She yearns to learn continually; she never wants to settle…to plateau. During these last few weeks, she’s taken…pointe-counterpointe and aerial classes.
Isn’t it interesting how opportunity knocks when you least expect it? A couple of folks who have seen my daughter in these classes have asked her to work with their companies as well, should she return to Nashville on a more permanent basis. One offer in particular caught her attention…to learn a Balinese-type dance. Currently, only one woman knows the solo and the director of the modern dance company feels certain my daughter would learn the piece in no time, and to perfection.
Talk about coming into her own.
Ballet companies tend to be hierarchical. Only a select few are designated the leads or the soloists. Dancers can wait years for their break-through moment. For some the opportunity never comes.
Happy to work where talent and hard work are the only criteria for being noticed, my daughter is loving the directors and dancers she has had the pleasure of being with as she grows ever more comfortable in her new skin as a contemporary dancer.
It’s true what someone recently told me…
…i’m only as happy as my least happiest child…
(Stay tune for “nurturing thursdays: choices…changes…part 2)