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?