Back in January the studio where I dance offered my the chance to dance in this term’s show. Mostly the shows are pre-professional opportunities for the students at the school, as opposed to the adults, so I jumped at the invitation. The girls I danced with have been dancing for longer than me and since a much younger age. It was a testament to how much work I’ve really done over the past few years and how much I’ve progressed that I was invited to dance with them.
When I first found out I would be doing the pas de quatre aka the little swan variation I was skeptical. I didn’t even know if I could do it, let alone do it well enough to perform in front of people. I had never really has any choreography on pointe before, nor had I ever been very good at petite allegro. For those of you non-dancers petite allegro means small and quick… it also means lots of tiny precise jumps. Not my forté.
I struggled through issues with strength, muscle cramps and trusting myself that I could do it. The hardest part was letting myself just do what I knew how to do and not worrying if I could actually do it. No one move in the pas de quatre is all that hard on its own. When put together, on pointe, and mixed with the speed and precision needed to perform the pas de quatre in tandem with three other dancers suddenly it becomes a challenging sprint.
Each repetition improved over the last. By the weekend of the performance I had gone from feeling unskilled to feeling that I could do the variation. Sure it wasn’t the best performance ever of the pas de quatre from Swan Lake, but I was able to do it. There’s something to be said for that. If I can start dancing at 19 and do that variation 6 years later (with 4 years of inconsistent training), nothing is impossible. It just takes dedication and passion.