Thursday, December 29, 2011

This Is Living the Dream

I woke up this morning like I always do.  I sat bolt upright when my alarm went off and mumbled what I assume were swear words at it.  I then face planted back onto my pillow, and took a deep breath.  Thus began what I like to call "The Snap/Crackle/Pop Morning Symphony."  I stretched my back, rolled my ankles (crrrraaaaacckk!  poppoppop), worked my legs under the covers (snap! snapsnap!  crrrrunch. thud) and flipped onto my back, stretching my arms over my head.  I dragged myself out from under the sheets, cracking my feet/toes/arches, snapping my shoulders, and otherwise releasing the various air bubbles and bundles of pressure that formed in my body as I slept.

I shivered and hurried to the kitchen to put the kettle on.  Said my prayers as I cooked breakfast, did my stretches, etc. etc. etc.  The same as any morning - but this morning was different.  This morning as I packed my oversized bag full of everything-I-could-possibly-need, I had a sudden realization.  In the quiet of the kitchen I finally understood - this is it.  This is living the dream.  On a smaller scale than I'd like to, of course - but even dreams come in babysteps.

I was about to head off to a day of Winter Camp with kids at the Learning Center where I teach.  We would play on the trampoline, run races, tumble, perfect handstands, do a mini-ballet class, listen to classical music, color, and dance all day.  Our only breaks were for snacks (banas, apple slices, cucumbers, and unsalted pretzels) and storys.  Then I would hop into the car, eat a quick flatbread from Subway and rush of to our final tech rehearsal. . .

For my first professional performance.

This morning I threw my sweater and notebook in my bag and relished that for a moment.  My first professional show.  I'd like to tell you it was for something big - a new work for a prominent company.  Or glamorous - world premier for a new ballet.  Or even that I had a big role.  The truth is, it was a very small part of a big show, and I am only on stage for a few, brief, glorious, seconds.  I don't even really dance: it's just being a comedic character, making the audience laugh.  But that audience?  It's a venue that holds 2,000 people.  And tonight, every seat was taken.  It's not high-paying - 50 dollars a show, and 10 comp tickets, plus meals provided.  But it is in fact paying which means I get to end 2011 not as the aspiring dancer I've been all my life, but as a professional dancer.

For a few, sweet days.

I can share the benefits of my "pointless," and "expensive," major and my "risky," and "impractical," career choice with friends and family in the form of free tickets to a sold-out show.

I get to live the dream: and what a dream it is.  The seconds I stepped onto the stage it was like lightening passed through my body.  I have never been more alive.  No moment has lasted longer than that split second, forever frozen in my mind, when pure adrenaline and love suspended time.  The only sound I can ever imagine comparing to the noise of 2,000 pairs of applauding hands is the first time I hear my future children's voices.

For the next two days I get to go from job one - playing with and helping shape children - to job two, helping make 2,000 people laugh.

How lucky am I?


  1. Nice articles. I'm just blogwalking and very happy to stop here. And also give you some comment here.

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  2. I'm currently putting your words "even dreams happen in babysteps" with my inspirational reminders.