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Monday, July 6, 2009

Adventures in Chicago: Recap of Week One

Hello my bloggy friends! How I missed you so...

I'm sorry for my disappearance last week. I was so exhausted and sore and in shock over all the information that was being thrown at me that I just didn't have the energy to write updates about my adventures. I would go to class around 5, get home around midnight, eat and shower, get to bed around 1:30, and be completely unable to get out of bed at any reasonable time the next day. When I would finally drag myself out of bed, I would stumble around the apartment like zombie for a few hours, not accomplishing much beyond eating and psyching myself up for another beating, before having to leave for class and start the process all over again. But after a weekend of rest and recharging, I'm starting to feel like a normal human being again!

So yeah, it was a rough first week. I started off very excited about the company and what the four weeks would entail. Then classes started and I got a full-on, merciless, take-no-prisoners dance smack down. In the middle of the first night I wanted to cry and walk out. I kept saying to myself, what the hell am I doing here? I can't do this! I shouldn't be here! The second night was just the same.

I remember one of the teachers asking my class if we were having fun, and I wanted to scream "NO!" That's honestly how I felt, and it made me so, so sad. I wasn't having fun, and I was supposed to be having fun! I had been so excited for this summer adventure because I was banking on having a great time, learning a lot, networking, etc.

Well, the week got better, because I was determined to not let my time here be four weeks of misery. It hit me one night as I wearily rode the train home that I don't want to go back to Colorado and tell everyone that my experience was "just okay". Lame. SO lame. I realized that what I get out of this experience will be what I put into it. Of course that's easier said than done, and it's a process, but at least I'm conscious of this and I'm working on it.

And I sure as hell am learning A LOT... I'm learning that summer intensives are no joke. [I'm not really sure what part of "summer intensive" I overlooked, but this isn't easy breezy summer camp.] I'm learning that in the real dance world, you have to turn your brain on the second you walk into that studio. They give you choreography and expect you to pick it up instantly, with little to no explanation, breaking it down, etc., on their part. If don't get the moves and sequence, you don't get the part. I'm learning that you can't take ANYTHING for granted. Nothing. You can't be lazy, you can't be distracted, you can't be worrying about what the other students might be thinking about you. You can't hold back. You can't get by with doing anything half-assed, thinking it's enough, because they see through all that BS. I'm learning that you can't just regurgitate the movement they give you, but you have to put emotion and feeling behind it for it to be real and believable. I'm learning that impeccable technique and the facility to kick your leg up to your head doesn't mean a damn thing if you are dead and empty onstage. You have to be present in every second. I'm learning that I am babied and sheltered at school and if I'm going to make it in the dance world, I'm going to have to step up my game 200%.

And thus I begin week two. My knee jerk reaction is to be nervous and afraid of another hard week, and to want to dive back under the covers and hide. That's not an option, of course. So here I go.


  1. Keep hanging on!! Good Luck! Kick Butt!

    I hope that Week two is way more fun for you - your next trip needs to be a for sure break.. because you really really need one. But just because you need a break does not mean you aren't strong enough to plow thru this. I know you are and I know you can.


  2. Good for you, darlin. It sounds like this can't be anything but good for you! What doesn't kill ya, right?

  3. You go girl...seriously. I admire what you're doing so much. I wish I could dance for a living! All your hardwork will pay off, I PROMISE!

  4. No dance training before this. You are the poster child for going after your dream. Color me impressed!!