Opportunity dances with those who are already on the dance floor.
~ H. Jackson Brown Jr.
The Back Story
Most fortunately, I was actually cast in the production! At first I was a little bummed when I learned that I would be dancing in the mice scene, which is in the style of modern dance and not my beloved classical ballet. However, I do really enjoy modern dance so It didn’t take long before I was excited again and dove into the rehearsal process with enthusiasm and a happy heart.
Last week, on a gray and rainy day, a little ray of sunshine popped into my mailbox, it told me to be at the dance studio at 2:00 pm on Saturday to audition for the role of understudy for the Snow Scene in the Nutcracker.
I actually read it three times to be sure I was reading it correctly. I couldn’t believe it! The show was already cast and I was given another shot to dance the choreography that I love!
If you don’t know what the role of an understudy is, it’s the backup performer who learns the role and is ready to perform it in case something happens to the current and active performer. Although the understudy rehearses the parts, memorizes it and is ready and on call, he/she may never actually perform the role. You just never know.
Well, my big Saturday finally came and for some strange reason, I was not feeling my usual awkwardness or nervousness. I was just filled with a calm joy.
I went through the morning preparing for the audition with a peaceful state of mind, not worried about the outcome, just excited about the opportunity to perform. Perhaps this was the reason for my calm excitement or maybe it was just because I already didn’t have the part and felt there wasn’t much to lose.
When 2:00pm arrived, the temperature outside was intense. It was one of those October heat waves what would sometimes distract me from accomplishing a personal goal I had planned, but that day was different. My mind was crystal clear with no inner chatter, just perfectly clear. I simply put on my pointe shoes, tied my ribbons, warmed up, and went for it!
The audition started right on time and we were told the combination twice, marked it (practiced it) once and then danced it full-out and quickly moved on to the next combination.
Normally I have difficulty picking up choreography that fast, but on that day, through each step, I had a calm laser focus that never wavered, a relaxed concentration. My body was centered and my placement was on. At the end, I left the audition knowing I gave it my best and felt serene about whatever the dance gods determined.
Life’s Little Miracles
This past Wednesday, I received the email that I had been patiently waiting for. Did I get it?
Yes! I got it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I will actually be dancing the part! I’m not an understudy! I’m really going to dance in the snow scene!
I don’t think I have ever screamed with excitement so loudly at my computer screen before. I had to read it a few times to make sure I was reading it correctly.
To dance in the snow scene of the Nutcracker has been a long time dream of mine. Having had my first ballet lesson at age 23 there wasn’t much of chance that this could happen. I’ve had many wonderful dance performances over the last several years, but a full-length classical ballet, hasn’t been an option before now. There’s something about being given a chance to live a childhood dream decades later, long after it’s been deemed not possible, that gives it an extra kaizen sweetness.
It makes me think of the first stanza of Emily Dickinson’s Poem, “Success is Counted Sweetest”
Success is counted sweetest
By those who ne’er succeed.
To comprehend a nectar
Requires sorest need.
It may only be October, but it’s snowing happy snowflakes in my heart. I am officially one of the happiest persons on the planet right now!