A few weeks ago, a student asked for some fashion advice for an upcoming audition photoshoot.  So of course I let my enthusiasm run wild, loading her up with a pile of Yumiko’s and perhaps an overwhelming amount of opinions on wrap skirts and practice tutus…woops.  The following week, however, as I bounced into the studio to rehearse for this, I threw open my locker and was smacked in the eyeballs with the most beautiful watercolored card.  The vibrant bowing ballerina was bested only by an enormously touching note tucked in the fold behind her.  I could hardly believe how much my advice had been appreciated.

Having grown up in the very same school/company setting in which I am now employed, sometimes it’s hard for me to distinguish that line between past and present, disciple and docent.  Sometimes I forget what it felt like to be slightly afraid of the company dressing room, a place now as essential to my morning ritual as my daily cup of English Breakfast tea.  The memories of sitting front row at The Vets, soaking up every second of the company’s performance, fade further away every season.  That aching for the artistic director to select me and my eager feet to deliver flowers to the principles after a show only revisits me when I accept those flowers from a new crop of fervent feet.

Sometimes I have to pinch myself.  Am I really on the other side now?  With my first day of work rapidly approaching (TOMORROW!), it’s becoming harder and harder to ignore how lucky I feel to do something so gratifying.  It’s also impossible to ignore the fact that this opportunity is not afforded to many.

When I received a plea on the STB Facebook page to assist a teenage girl in her path to professionalism with Dutch National Ballet, I felt so compelled.  Her commute to ballet school puts an extreme stress on the family (something any ballet student can relate to) and, like many social media-savvy folks in need, Avah is reaching out to the interwebs for support.  I have donated to her cause, and would like to share the link to her campaign video here, in case you may feel as inclined as I to help a young girl live her dream.

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