Photo Credit: Phil Wayes

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Flashbacks: The Beginnings of a Dance Career

Five years ago today I came home from school to find out I'd landed my first apprenticeship with a dance company-- PA Dance Vision Repertory Ensemble.

In honor of my half-decade of dancing livelihood-- and another big event that's about to happen over at PADV, which you'll hear about soon-- I decided to share with you some flashbacks from the start of season, around the time I moved to East Stroudsburg to be a fully-committed PA Dancer.

(These are reprinted from my personal journal and from my old website)

"This week I've been getting up earlier and earlier each day. It's not even because I'm in school, either-- the new studio space is opening in less than two days, and we are getting ready. We are also exhausted to the point of delirium. Today I could have come to work drunk and it wouldn't have mattered, provided I were the drinking type. We spent lunch cursing and laughing hysterically. The climax of the craziness was when Mike locked himself in the bathroom. He had to do the Ever After thing by taking the hinges off and opening the door was quite a feat. He will go down in history as The Man Who Opened A Door..... It's my last week of summer and my last week before I move out and Start My new Life. Whoa. I'm trying to make the most of my last week at home, but I have so much to do. Like, for instance, packing. Maybe I should try and get a jump on that."

[this was my first public blog post after moving to the mountains] "The last three and a half weeks have been quite an experience. Lots of thinking, musing; losing reality then finding it again; losing myself then finding me again. The end of the first week/beginning of my second week was the roughest, but I got through with the help of some very special people. I've made some friends; some out of previous acquaintances and some people that I've just met. The Pocono Mountains are beautiful right now; the trees are exploding in variations of red and gold. I tell you, flying up 447 in the mornings on my way to the studio with that surrounding makes my morning."

"My Rented Room is essentially a warehouse for dance shoes and a place where I shower and catch a few hours of sleep here or there. Which is nice, considering the rent is dirt-cheap for some damn nice digs. Half the time I don't even sleep here; in the last week I've stayed overnight in Bethlehem twice, in Analomink once, and most recently at J. West's-- which involved watching A Time For Dancing and making CD's for our Monday classes. It was fun."

"Know what's lovely? When the interior of your car is soaked with cappuccino. You sit your coffee cup on top of your car because you've done that plen-ty of times before without incident, but you are in dancing in Tobyhanna today and the killer wind kicks up, sets your cup flying, and sends French vanilla onto your hair, your coat, your dance bag, and the backseat of your car. Fantastic."

"The fall concert is this weekend. We have a new piece and a re-staging of an old piece by an outside choreographer-- End of the Beginning. It's so beautiful. The new one is Salted Spirits by the one-and-only Gabe C. It's about drugs and suicide (the music the Requiem for a Dream soundtrack. Savvy?)...but oh, SO much fun. And dammit, I'm a sucker for things like Returning andTransition. I don't care if they've been danced to death, i still love them. Transition kind of relates to the way I've been feeling lately, Returning is......Returning. Can't even describe it."

"Opening night....whoa. It was quite a day. Maria straightened my hair. I glued my eye closed (oops). We had to flip-flop the order of the show two minutes before curtain [long story]. With that said, we jumped right into Transition and before I knew it the performance was over. Well... not exactly. During Salted Spirits my hair tie flew out (I was only aware of this because suddenly I had more hair than I did at the opening of the piece) and the smoke machine set off the central smoke alarm. Oops! Once the alarm shut off I was trying to wipe off the eye makeup from Spirits, causing the entire left side of my face to be boogered up and therefore re-makeuped before I went on for End of the Beginning. I don't even remember Words to Live By, but then it was Returning and that was the end. It was insane. It was fun. It was beautiful. And for a span of about two hours, my life made sense."