Black leotards, pink tights, creaking floors, the squeaking of ballet shoes sliding and spinning. The quiet conversations of girls warming up and calming their nerves. The Diva sat watching the girls warming up and preparing for the summer program audition to the areas top ballet school.
“Can I just do a demi plie’?” she asked from beside me. Her excitement and desire to be involved, to participate, was sizzling through the air and sparkling in her eyes.
“I told you” the dad commented from my other side. He had warned me that the Diva might have difficulty understanding that she could not participate this year. I smiled and laughed and reminded my daughter that next year she could try; this year she was too young.
The Diva and I were watching a summer program ballet audition. We had accompanied a fellow dancer and her family into the city to give support and to see if this was something the Diva would want to do in the future. (In the future, she was ready to do it right then and there!)
“Remember,” I warned her,” this is serious. These girls are working hard to get a place in the program. You need to be quiet and focus. You need to sit still and let them do their thing.” This was the last of at least 8 country wide auditions for the program – the second in our area.
“I will watch so I know what to expect when I do it.”
Bright sunlight streamed into the audition studio. The live piano struck a few notes. The dancers had pictures taken in different positions. Parents gathered around the open studio door while the Diva, being true to herself, slipped into the front of the crowd to sit and watch.
25 dancers took their positions at the barre
25 dancers focused upon the instructor for the day and listened to the music
25 dancers spent an hour doing unfamiliar combinations of known positions. They listened to the instructor detail what she wanted through a fairly thick Russian accent. They watched her demonstrate each series. They did the moves with great focus each hoping that maybe she would be picked.
For nearly an hour the Diva watched. She watched quietly from her spot at the door on the floor. She noted the movements and the combinations. She pulled her hair back in a loose bun with a hair net taken from my bag without my knowledge so that she would be like the other dancers. And then she sat and did the moves herself through small gestures. In her own way, she was out there doing her thing.
When the audition was complete, she was ready to sign up for next year’s audition. She was ready to try to make it into the program herself.
The mother of the auditioning dancer asked “what position did they ask you to strike for the picture?”
And who was it that answered… the Diva.
*sigh* I reminded her, not so gently, that this was not her question to answer nor was it posed to her. (She did answer correctly…)
As we walked home she chatted about combinations and poses and movements. She talked about her turn next year or even the year after. I could tell that for that hour or two, she could see herself as a dancer. The audition, the room, the sounds, the music, the smells… they were all very real to her and part of her plan. Her goal solidified as she saw girls just older than her 9 year old self working to become dancers. Her dream to dance became a bit more real; more tangible. She could understand more the reason for her hard work and her dedication. She also understood that much more clearly the support that she would receive from her family and friends. The dream and the work are hers – the love and support come from all around her. Perhaps, if only for a few moments, she understood that it isn’t just a dream but a possible reality.