I can’t believe it’s over…
Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful week! Well, here is the 3rd and final post for American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensive Update! I can’t believe how fast these past three weeks have gone. Even though I went back home and got a cold in August, it was still a great week.
The first day back, I had a slight fever, chills, you know, the whole bit. What sucked was that I had a rehearsal later that day as well, and also another variations class. So I decided to save my energy for later and sat out of my technique classes. Don’t worry, I took notes.
Later on, I put on my pointe shoes and performed my roles (a court dancer and a queen). The role of entering the court as queen wasn’t hard at all, but the court dancer part was. Nonetheless, I performed feeling absolutely terrible and I surprised myself with how well I’d done. I know it wasn’t perfect, but I don’t care. I felt like I was at my worst and I pushed through it. Hearing the teacher telling me I did a good job was enough for me.
The week went on, and the more I danced, the more I felt better. I realized that it’s all in my head. If I think I will do poorly because I feel poorly, then I will do poorly. One of our teachers earlier on (as well as my wonderful mother for the last nine years) told us that when you have bad days, you have to change the way you think. I was put to the test, and honestly, I feel as though I passed.
Dress rehearsals were actually good, and the teacher was pleased, which made our whole level ecstatic. Friday was the day of the Showcase. We had an excellent warm-up (final) class. For me (and for others), it was extremely emotional. We got ready for the first show where I was to enter the court with my partner as the “queen.” Going on stage and performing that part was a surreal experience for me. It may have been short, but it was still, in my opinion, the most amazing experience I’d ever had. Maybe it was because I was chosen by the teachers from ABT— I don’t know.
After the show, we had a couple hours to kill, so we had a dance party. It was so much fun, and I realized how many people here I was going to miss… ALL OF THEM!!! I even took videos so I could document this experience and so I could look back on it in the future.
I was more nervous for the second show where I performed as one of the court dancers. The steps were unnerving, and before this intensive, I’d never done them. The difficulty of the steps were harder than some of my studios had ever given, which was both exciting and nerve racking.
As soon as I went out onto that stage, the fear melted away and it became fun. Dancing alongside my friends was an incredible feeling, and I wished that it would never end. When we took our final bows, it hit me that this was over. On Monday, I would be back home, and the rest of my friends would be scattered all over the world. It literally made me cry.
This summer intensive was such an emotional experience. For once, I was having fun. I was letting go, performing in ways I didn’t know I could. I met so many amazing people I can now call friends. All the teachers’ encouragement made me feel like all the crap I’d gone through in the last year was all worth it. For once, I felt understood by people who know exactly what it’s like to be in the world I want to live in.
Thank you American Ballet Theatre for this wonderful experience. I learned so much and I am incredibly blessed and honored to have worked with such incredible teachers and dancers.
Sung Eun Rose
Featuring: American Ballet Theatre’s Violet Level Dancers, Julie Kent, Duncan Lyle (teachers)