6th Annual NYCB Gala performance with USC Dance Company

Sara Mearns rehearsing "Western Symphony" with USC Dance Co. March 18, 2011

It’s been two weeks from the show and I am just now getting time to settle down and write my reflection…

Sara Mearns was exceptional and outshone all the dancers on stage. She has just been promoted to principle dancer with NYCB after all. She deserves all sorts of recognition – she is a master mistress at her craft; fully, 110% dedicated to it, something I never seemed to be able to maintain…and she is stunning. gorgeous. real and tangible, not ethereal, which makes her that much more likable and enjoyable to watch on stage, and she is thin, strong and embodies ballet dancer to the very tips of her fingernails and eyelashes. She danced out of every inch of her body. Nothing is forgotten. Music is made by her – or her movement made by it, I’m not certain which. I could rave about her on and on, and I am not even one who knows her personally or can claim any tie to her growing up in Columbia, SC or beginning her ballet roots here and attending the university’s dance conservatory as the dance department at USC likes to boast, but I appreciate her nonetheless. I say “appreciate” because I am trying to distinguish for myself my new mentality of appreciating ballet stars at somewhat of a safe distance rather than idolize them as I did when I was a striving dancer. That dangerous line I am drawing for myself distances me even further from ever pursuing a dance career again; regardless of how impossible it seems. I like to remind myself that if I found it in myself to emotionally, physically and financially commit to my craft 100% again, I could be back in the running for a professional career. It would take me losing weight finally and for good, and really committing – which I can’t do now because I am in school trying to finish my degree, I work 3 or 4 part time jobs, and I live in the deep South…. after all that, I have to remind myself of what I have come to accept as taking responsibility of my own foiled dance career – that I do not want and cannot sustain that lifestyle – and perhaps the reality that I never fully wanted it. But I was young and naive then… So enough of this somber reflection and regret. I am still dancing, and that’s what matters. I will never be Sara Mearns, and my body is far from the shape she is in now, but I have had other valuable life experiences outside of the narrow ballet world that she will never have that I treasure and would not trade, not even for an illustrious career with NYCB… Well…

It amazes me the power a desire so strong can have over me — that from the age of 9 or 10 when I decided I seriously wanted to pursue dance as a career, it took over me — and it may take just as many years to undo its power. I would not undo its influence and passion; just its obsessive control and lack thereof and the pain it has caused me. but no more of this sentimental vague reflection. I praise God He has given me back my dancing and I pray He continues to give it back tri-fold as I seek to honor Him with the ways He has given it back to me, even if it’s not the way I imagined it. Success does not make one happy always. God’s plans are better than our plans. Recognition does not supply¬†fulfillment.

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