Wednesday, June 27, 2012

2 Days with Adam

Adam Sklute... just saying his name makes me tense up and want to jump into a perfect fifth position and show the tendu combination from yesterday. Yikes. For those of you who don't know who I am talking about, Adam Sklute is the artistic director of Ballet West. If you've been following the new TV show on Ballet West, Breaking Pointe, you will know him as the guy who stands at the front of the room in rehearsals and intimidates the crap out of you. He's also the one who decides who will be in his company and who will not, which puts all sorts of pressure on anyone looking to be staying here next year, aka me. If all goes well, I want to be a trainee at Ballet West next year. It's sort of like putting my toe in the door of becoming a professional dancer and it's usually the first step into the real dance world! But, as we all know, positions and job spots get filled up pretty quick, especially in the ballet world. And, right now, I don't know how many people they are going to ask to be trainees here next year. So, in other words, I'm freaking out. I'm trying to always be on my best behavior, trying to always put my best work out there and really trying to show all my teachers that I have what it takes to be here next year. I don't know what else I could possibly be doing.. except praying for this chance :)

So, back to the point. Mr. Sklute is deciding this week who he is going to ask to be a trainee with his company next year and I had the pleasure of taking class with his on Monday and Tuesday, although I would hardly call it a pleasure! From the moment I woke up Monday morning, I was on edge. I took extra time to do my bun, making sure it was perfect. I wore my favorite leotard, I made sure to eat a healthy breakfast and I got to class super early so I could get a good spot at the barre and to warm up. I think everyone was just really uneasy. We really didn't know what to expect from him. I kept thinking he was going to be really scary and really mean and compare us all to his company dancers, who are far better than all of us! But, to my surprise, he walked in with a big smile, told us all to relax and proceeded to teach a really fun and really good class! He was always telling us to breathe, which is comforting. I wanted to leave a good first impression, so I was standing there at my barre spot with my feet turned out and my hands behind my back and stretching to stand up as straight as I could. I probably looked pretty dumb :) I was so caught off guard to see how genuinely nice he is. He gave some really good corrections to all of us and focused on the entire class, instead of just picking his favorites. I loved that everything he said made sense and I felt like he really cared about all of us. I tried really hard to be in the front so he could see me and see how dang hard I was working, although so was everyone else, so I can't be sure if he was really watching me or not. But, all in all, I loved his class, even though I was basically shaking the entire time and desperately trying to make everything perfect. Sometimes, I was worrying so much about how well I was dancing, I wasn't even paying attention to what he was saying or telling us to do, which turned into me looking like an idiot not knowing what the heck I was doing, but whatever :) The best thing about him was that he didn't want things to be perfect, he just wanted you to be expressive with your movement and really show that you have a personality. It was a little out of my comfort zone of having to make everything perfect all the time, but I enjoyed pushing myself to not be so stiff and to actually show expression in my dancing.

Monday was a success, despite the little stumbles and mistakes along the way. But Tuesday on the other hand..... After class was over on Monday, he told us that he expected us to remember all of his combinations from today and that we had to show them to him tomorrow... I think all of our stomachs dropped at that moment. We spent the next 24 hours frantically trying to go over in our heads and in our dorm rooms and with everyone in our class all the combinations from Monday class. Everyone was freaking out and sometimes we completely blanked on some of the choreography he gave us. I was not feeling confident at all, and I was just hoping that he wouldn't pick on me tomorrow to show one of his combinations to the entire class. Tuesday came, he walked into the studio as we were all marking the combinations for the 10th time that morning, and we began class. He showed the first few combinations, but then after that, he started picking on individuals to show what he did the day before. I thought he was going to blow up on us if we screwed anything up, but again to my surprise, he was very understanding and simply corrected us where we went wrong and smiled at us when we totally forgot what we were doing. Today's class went so much better than Monday's class. I was paying more attention because I was far less stressed out, knowing how nice he was, and I actually knew the combinations, which is always a good thing when you're trying to impress the artistic director of a company. I felt like I put my best work out there, and that's all I can really do! I've been told that by the end of the week, Adam is going to tell us who he wants as his trainees next year, so I am just depending on the work I've shown these past two days and hoping all goes well. I'm really trying to not even think about it, or I'll just go all internal and blow up from the inside out, and we all know that that would not be a pretty sight. So, until anything happens, I will be totally putting that thought out of my head. .. yep, it's gone! Nothing :) Now, if you will excuse me, I have some Bachelorette to watch and an apple that is calling my name...

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