As the curtain begins to open, you will see different attributes of me through dance, music, lights, costumes and characters. Before this production can be performed, I needed to learn to dance.
Dancing takes a lot of practice, conditioning, strength and poise. Day after day, for 12 years I went to every ballet class in pursue of my dream to become a prima ballerina. I wanted so badly to be like a beautiful ballerina I had seen in the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker. I rehearsed and rehearsed until my body physically couldn’t move. I was given corrections and encouragement to strive for better.
I started off in soft ballet shoes then progressed to pointe shoes. By my eighth year of ballet I was asked to dance on point, it was a big deal. You must be asked to go on pointe and you have to be at a certain peak in your dance carrier. I was overflowing with joy after being asked. I was like a shaken soda can, just exploding on everyone, not able to contain it. Not just anybody got the privilege of being asked to dance on point and I was asked. I was determined to master dancing on pointe and become the best that I could be.
Every pointe shoe is hand made by it creator and each one is uniquely made. Only one type of shoe can fit each person’s foot. Once I found that shoe, it was wonderful. It enhanced my dancing and we became one. I never left that type of pointe shoe for another, and why would I sense it was made perfectly for me.
I started to master aspects of dance, including pointe. It wasn’t just a series of steps anymore. It became very real and intimate to me. I notice that all the steps were put together for a reason, to create a dance. Still not knowing what the production was, or what my character was, I started to learn dances for my final production. I found myself asking these questions. “What kind of character would I be in this production? What kind of roll would I convey to the audience?”
I found out mid April, that I had the lead character, Helena, in the ballet production of “Midsummer Night Dream”. My dream of being the prima ballerina had finally come true. I was completely ecstatic that my teacher would choose me out of all the other ballet dancers. I was honored. I was so excited to perform my dances in the character of Helena to the audience. The only thing missing was my costume.
Costumes are a big part of dance; they transform you from being yourself, to being a character. When I saw my costume, I was amazed at how beautiful and unique it was, made just for me. I could hardly wait to wear it. Now had everything I needed to play my roll in the production. I was ready, prepared and excited to dance.
It was June 17th 2010, the night of the performance and I was nervous. I walked back stage with my handmade costume, makeup, dance shoes, hairspray, and tights. My heart leapt for joy when I opened the door to the dressing room and sat down in front of a mirror that was surrounded by lights. I realized that my dream of getting ready back stage, as so many famous ballerinas had, came true. I was so eager to perform and to be the character I was intended to be.
I decided that I would start off this wonderful experience by looking around backstage. I saw other dancers stretching on stage as the lights were getting a final check and last minute details were being made on the sets. The smell of rosin dust was in the air from other ballerinas. They were trying to make their pointe shoes less slippery on the black, shiny, hardwood stage. I then proceeded to return to the dressing room and ready myself for my last performance.
I got back to the dressing room to see all my fellow dancer friends getting ready as well. We all had a marvelous time putting on our make up in the precise way we were trained to do so. Next, the hair, I slicked back my hair into a tight bun and sprayed, what seemed to be a whole can of hairspray, on it. I got dressed with my beautiful handmade costume with nothing but ballet pink tights to complement it. Last but not least I put on my perfectly unique pair of pointe shoes. I was ready to dance.
All the sudden I heard the overture begin to play and I ran to my spot. The time had finally come for me to show what I had learned an accomplished in these past 12 years of ballet. I took a deep breath and looked to my right, and my best friend, who was Hermia (Helena’s friend) was standing next to me. I smiled at her and wished her good luck. Just her being there helped calm my nerves. I said a little prayer and off I went.
The spotlight followed me as I turned, jumped and leaped across the stage and part one of my dance was complete. My heart raced as I was standing off stage, waiting for my next cue. I came back onstage and danced my heart out. With one swig of water and a pat with a paper towel to dry my sweat, I was back on stage. I danced my final dance with the most passion I ever had. I smiled, the audience cheered and laughed when appropriate. I was thrilled. After leaving the stage from my last dance, it was time for bows.
As I entered through stage right, the whole audience stood to their feet and cheered. I was so overwhelmed with both joy and sadness. My teacher walked across the stage to me, she had a bouquet with vibrantly colored flowers in it. They were for me. She handed them to me, hugged me, and whispered in my ear saying, “You were excellent. Never stop dancing. You’re like a daughter to me and I will miss you.” Tears began to roll down my face from my overwhelming emotions. The audience was still cheering and with my teacher on my right and my best friend on my left, we took on last final bow and the curtain was closed.
Dance is such a huge part of my life. I have no idea where I would be with out it. God has reveled himself to me through dance. Like how each pair of point shoes is made uniquely, I also have been fearfully and wonderfully made. How dance takes time, growth and corrections, my walk with Christ has to grow, and be strengthened. How my hard work for twelve years was rewarded with a lead roll, with Christ my actions are rewarded in heaven. As I was chosen to play the character of Helena, I was chosen to be a daughter of Christ. He has given me this talent of dance as an act of worship to him. My desire is to discover more about Him through dance and to use it for His glory. As for now, I will continue to dance, but with my Father as the lead.