I guess I am a Seattle dancer now.
Life is looking a lot different now than when I first started this blog. I’ve graduated with my BA, and I’ve done a little bit of professional dancing.
There’s no retail in my current reality – I work at a dance studio. I’m not teaching, but I work in the office, which means I get to run around looking busy while I hold color coordinated file folders. With about two thousand kids at the studio, there’s a lot to be done. I really enjoy the work, and I enjoy that I get to be involved with dance while doing a variety of other tasks.
My CPR certification course is this week, and from there I will either get ACE or Barre certified, so I can start teaching at gyms. Right now I’m making enough money to survive, but I’d like to take more dance classes, which will become more possible when I pick up teaching fitness classes.
The adulting is going well – I’m able to take dance classes six days a week, AND I got my wiper blades changed. I’m still trying to find my bearings, but I feel much better than I did when I first moved over. I’ve been taking from PNB twice a week, about once or twice a week from a company called Catapult, and I’m working on my commercial dance skills at Westlake.
The modern dance always feels good and right and proper in my body. Many of the artists here seem to value the same things that I value: inversions, pelvis power, specific initiation points.
As for ballet, I’ve met some awesome people in classes already, and I feel very comfortable in PNB’s open program. I feel much better when I’m able to keep up with ballet – just with things like posture, turnout, rotation, butt muscles – I feel like it gives me a steady home base that also empowers me mentally for other dance styles. And it’s a bit emotional, for me, as PNB was one of the first places I danced outside of UI. When I was first taking class there, I was 20 and had barely been dancing two years. My ballet technique was abysmal, well, pretty much all my technique was abysmal. The fact that I can now go into pretty much any open level (usually they’re intermediate/advanced) and stand in the front row and know what I’m doing – that means a lot. Good job, me. It was a long, long, arduous, long journey.
Westlake gives me the most commercial drop in classes. I’ve been taking Jazz and Lyrical. I have to say that I’m still a pretentious modern dancer, though. While the classes were great in terms of progression and how they were structured, I just can’t connect with the style. Being told to visibly emote rather than to realistically react goes against everything I’ve been taught as a modern dancer. I’m not sure that I really value acting within my own dancing; I’m very much more interested in the physicality. This means that I have a difficult time with lyrical, as you’re supposed to sort of emote-out the lyrics. What I do value in that class is how the timing and quality changes sort of remind me of hip hop, which I think will give greater depth to my modern dance.
It’s an exercise, getting to class after working all day, or getting up early before work to go to class. I knew that it would be very easy to fall into the trap of just working and being scared to get to class, so I started taking right away, before I even had an apartment.
The transition from being a dancer in college and a dancer in adult life is difficult. You have to self motivate. There is nobody there to scold you when you don’t go to class. You have to budget so that you can afford your classes (and classes are by far my biggest expense, after rent). You have to be conscious with your work schedule so that you are able to make it to classes, and this may not always be something you can control.
The struggle is real, but I’ve never left a class feeling worse than before I went in. Keep on keeping on.