I spent all day today volunteering at the dance studio, as 17 dancers auditioned for our top-level performing troupe. I was helping in the dressing room, pinning costumes, answering questions, calming nerves, etc. It was really cool being able to see them get ready and practice their solo performances and the group choreography they had to do as part of the audition. I picked up a couple of moves and transitions that I’m going to try to use at some point.
More importantly, I realized that more than a few of these dancers, some of whom have been dancing for over twenty years, have the exact same insecurities and nerves when it comes to auditioning as I do. Before their solo, some were worried that they’d picked the wrong music, that their choreography wasn’t interesting enough, that they’d forget part (or all) of it, that their costume wasn’t fitting right, that their hair wasn’t right, etc. … all of which are things I have told myself before an audition or performance. And after they came back, many of these dancers were beating themselves up and cussing themselves out for having screwed up or forgotten or messed up something. They were worried that the judges weren’t smiling, that their performance was sub-par, that they weren’t good enough to make the troupe. Again, all of which are things I have told myself after an audition or performance.
I have seen almost all of these dancers perform (I think there were two I have not seen dance before). I think they are all wonderful performers, and at least three of them are ones that I try to pattern myself over because I love how they look, how they move, how they perform. To realize that they, too, have many of the same feelings and insecurities that I do was kind of heartening in a weird sort of way.
I’m anxious to learn who made it into the troupe, find out which of the dancers were needlessly berating themselves, and learn how to deal with disappointment from those who didn’t make the cut.
(On the exercise front I didn’t get any formal exercise in, but I spent most of the day running around the studio, so I was definitely active…)