What a whirlwind week. Yesterday a cast of just a few dozen kids and teens performed a mature classical ballet with beauty and maturity. Even more than their dancing, I'm proud of their patience, diligence and send of humor during the rehearsal process. Both Swan Lake and the performances by my jazz, tap and pre-school students went smoothly. The kids had fun and the audience loved it
This was my third year producing and directing a student performance so I felt pretty prepared by Tuesday's final studio rehearsal. Too prepared. On Wednesday I realized we didn't have nearly enough backstage volunteers to handle the 20 - 30 performers under age 10 in the cast and sent a frantic email to almost everyone I know locally asking for help. On Thursday--the day of our first rehearsal in the auditorium--I found out that our videographer wouldn't be able to record the show after all and that the print shop I'd counted on for programs was closed for the week. Thankfully, a very dear friend and fellow dance school director stepped in to take care of both of those tasks and volunteered to take photos of the performance.
A whole other set of potential problems was waiting for me at the auditorium. The stage hadn't been cleared or cleaned since the school's play a few weeks before so I spent the hour before dancers arrived moving set pieces and props around. Shout out to the high school student who helped me move a heavy sap-covered log after I interrupted his piano practice with my cries for help! Despite that minor inconvenience, the backdrop still on stage from the play ended up being a nice addition to Swan Lake so it all worked out nicely.
Once we got the theater set-up the stage rehearsals were mostly easy sailing. I had a crew of fantastic backstage volunteers who helped the kids get lined up and in order so I could focus on other things and actually watch my dancers. Not every piece was technically perfect but no one left the stage in tears or stood frozen like a deer in the headlights!
Now that the dance season is over, I'm looking forward to a few months of focusing on other aspects of my life: swims and walks with my son, lots of time working in the garden, and taking as many dance classes as I can. One of my biggest priorities this summer will be to spend some time working on the book I'm editing about dancers and body image. I also plan to submit my first MFA program application by the end of July (more on that later).
Before I do any of that, I should probably clean my house. A distracted mom and two year-old can make some big messes.