Friday, March 2, 2012

Road Trip!!

Well, you are all in luck. Like I don't already have enough to worry about, I have taken on the challenge of blogging our entire YAGP weekend with the Washington Ballet crew. Holla!! . . . ok I take that back. I am definitely not ghetto enough to put that in my blog.

Anyway, today, we began our festivities with the 6 hours drive from Washington, DC to Torrington, Connecticut. As you can imagine, no dancer ever knows how to pack lightly, and, with 15 dancers, you can use your calculators to figure out how many bags that is, plus costumes, plus five pairs of pointe shoes each. . . plus mounds and mounds of snacks. Ya, it all added up quickly. Thank goodness for our mini van and 15 passenger van to get all of us and all of our crap up north, where apparently it actually snows during the winter. I am very disappointed to say that DC received no legitimate snow this winter. All of that talk of feet and feet of snow landing on this state is turning into somewhat of an understatement to me.

So, we all began our day with a lovely "family" breakfast, which obviously included donuts, muffins, banana bread, cinnamon rolls and any other type of food that could add inches to our waistlines. Just what you want to eat right before you're going to be seen by a panel of judges and hundreds of intimidating and judgmental dancers. I swear, the only reason a dancer wants to watch other people dance is to make sure that they are equally or more talented than whoever is up on stage and to rub it in everyone else's faces that they could do it ten times better than they did it. I don't understand how people can be so criticizing and so mean to people who are really just trying to do their best, but I guess I can't really talk, as I am equally as judgmental as any other back stabbing, gossiping ballet dancer. I guess it's just in our nature or something :)

After gaining 10 pounds, what better than to go take a warm up class. And I say that with all the sarcasm I can put into a sentence. You know when you have that huge food baby and you can't get comfortable in any position you sit or lie? Well, that feeling is like a walk in the park compared to that same feeling, but in a constricting pair of tights and an unflattering leotard that makes anyone look chubbier than they really are. And there are no exceptions to this rule. Leotards simply enhance all the wrong things about your body and only the freakishly skinny people who don't enjoy the timeless pleasures of a cupcake will ever feel comfortable looking at themselves wearing a leotard. This is fact. So, we involuntarily and begrudgingly took class, groaning all the way from the breakfast table to the studio. Thankfully, we were allowed to wear warm-ups, and I took full advantage of this opportunity and piled on all my thickest, warmest cover-ups, and proceeded to wear them for the entire class. And, now looking back on the whole thing, I am very glad we took class before getting in a car for 6 hours, just to get the blood pumping and the sweat dripping before being crammed and stuck in the same uncomfortable position for way too long.

We finally began our journey after a much satisfying morning or eating and dancing, and hit the road with two oversized vehicles jam packed with tutus, unitards and countless duffel bags, probably filled with way too many outfits and dead pairs of pointe shoes, but seeing as I am a culprit of this exact behavior, I will shut my mouth immediately about the subject. The drive was, to put in bluntly, long. Although, I would have much more preferred hitting the gas and not stopping until reaching the hotel, as this is how it has always been throughout my very scarring youth. One learns to hold the pee when your mother is yelling at your from the drivers seat to stop whining and that they will just have to wait another 200 miles for the next rest stop. A bladder learns to stretch in these situations. And, yes, this is what my childhood was like on all of those long trips from Colorado to Idaho. But, seeing as I was apparently traveling with normal people who don't have traumatizing childhood memories, we stopped a few times, getting gas or allowing people to stretch their legs and buy some food. We entertained ourselves with obnoxious youtube videos and taking frequent naps. I had the luxury of siting in the back seat, earphones in, music blasting, my muddy buddies at my side and knitting needles in hand. There is just something about the combination of music, food and knitting that makes the time go faster. Paradise if you ask me :)

Can I tell you, there is no better feeling than seeing your Hilton Inn hotel after a long days journey?? 6 hours in a cramped car is suddenly made justified when you realize your suffering is about to end. I love when the car finally stops in the parking lot and we all pile out of the cars and drag ourselves plagued in heavy bags into the hotel lobby. You feel a sense of accomplishment as you let out a sigh of relief and settle into your room, complete with a small microwave and ironing board, which I have already utilized, thank you very much. I got settled into my room and ironed two shirts and a skirt, just for good measure. I have the pleasure of sharing a room with my roommate Fernanda, and my good friend Katie, who are both falling asleep in front of the TV at the moment. Hotel rooms are so comfortable. You feel pampered and taken care of, even if it is just a simple motel, although this is just not the case in those ghetto Motel 8's. Those are just scary. The last time my dad attempted to make my family stay in one of those, we only lasted about 5 minutes before my mom pointed out that you could hear the couple in the next room screaming at each other and that we were leaving immediately. Never again will I stay in a Motel 8. . .

After the trip, we were obviously all hungry, so we piled into the big van and drove right over to the nearest restaurant, where we again overindulged in yummy restuarant food, which seems to always be more fatty, even if your are just eating a sandwich. I guess there is a reason it always tastes so good. Butter is God's gift to tasty food, but there is a price to pay. Lets just hope I can fit into my costume tomorrow after a long day of eating and sitting. . . and eating some more, with a few snacking moments in between. It was all worth it though. Eating with dancers means there will be at least a few salads present at the table, and this stood true tonight. But, there were also some sandwich appearances and soup debuts. Its nice to see dancers eat normal food from time to time. I had the pleasure of sitting across the table from my dear friend from France, Jesse, who literally ate the entire table. He started with his own shrimp salad, which he finished without a sweat, then scarfed down a side of fries, then snatched another neighboring salad, and again another salad. I didn't think he was going to make it, but it didn't seem to phase him at all. He is quite the charming fellow, you know those French men. Everything they say sounds so much more enticing, just because of that ridiculous accent, and you can't help but think they are hilarious and kind and even slightly seductive. This just adds to my reasoning behind marrying someone with an accent, which will happen one day in the future. It just must.

Well, I must retire to my king size, hotel sheeted bed, now, as I have a very long day tomorrow filled with anxiety, fear, and lots and lots of nervous pee. Oh joy. . but more on that later. Wish us luck tomorrow! We will definitely need it.