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the performance

September 18, 2008

Well after a flurry of performances and festivals, I think things are finally starting to settle down.  While part of me is grateful knowing I need the rest and my plantar fasciitis ridden feet could use a break, another part of me is sad.  I love performing.

Oh I enjoy all aspects of dancing, but the performance – (sigh) the performance is the climax.  It is the culmination of all the hard work, sweat, pain and blisters.  I love the nervous energy that hangs in the air as the dancers frantically get ready.  When the preparation check-list is completed (make-up – check, hair secure – check, dress – check, bloomers –check, shoes – check, earrings – check, necklace – check, flowers for hair – check, lipstick – check) and verified two or three times, the pacing begins.  As we pace, we go over the steps or stretch or simply breathe to try to calm our nerves.  We line up, going over the check-list again, looking over the other dancers to make sure they didn’t forget anything.  There is a deep breath, a pause and then we are on stage!

Our entire performance lasts an hour, maybe longer, with most dances being a few minutes long.  It is thrilling to lay it all on the line.  We have only a few minutes to prove ourselves, to make hours of rehearsal worth it.  We give our entire selves to the dance. There is an excitement and energy from the audience that, coupled with our energy, give life to the dances.  The give and take between the performers and the crowd is amazing.  Sometimes those minutes last forever.  Over the music, we hear our hearts pounding in our ears as our feet pound on the pavement making the intricate sounds of Ballet Folklorico.  And then it is over.  The people cheer, we bow and leave the stage.  But the beauty of dancing created a joy that was shared by all – the dancers and the audience – and that joy is not as fleeting as our performance.

Sigh – I hope we have a couple of performances here and there.  Dancing every weekend was fun, but tiring.  Now it’s time to get back to the basics of dancing.  Bring on the sweat, pain and hard work!

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