Hello my lovely readers, I have some great news…I am very happy to say that I achieved my goals, and after a lot of hard work and determination I performed 5 shows all en pointe!
This was such a big challenge for me, and I’m so glad that I did it, and now I can confidently continue to work on my technique again and know that I can perform in front of full audiences, right back up on my toes where I’m supposed to be! Yay!
I was very nervous for my first shows, which were at the Thames Civic Centre last week. I was performing a 3 minute solo that was a lyrical/ballet style I had choreographed, which was dedicated to my students. I wanted to give them something back for all the inspiring things they have given me over the past years. The solo went really well and my students all said how much they enjoyed watching me dance, and that made me feel very happy. I could feel my ankle getting tired during the solo, and my instep would be quite cramped and swollen once I came off stage each time. Even though it hurt, I knew it was just the pain of the muscles working through the fatigue and as I continue to do more pointe work that will eventually stop being a problem.
The following week I had two performances with the Apollo Theatre Company, where I was playing the role of the Fairy Godmother
in 1920’s version of Cinderella. This show was different as it was an English Pantomime with a twist – the Prince falls in love with the Fairy Godmother! It was very funny, and it was my first time playing a lead speaking role. I really enjoyed the challenge of performing in a new way, learning all the lines and working on developing a crazy character.
My Fairy Godmother was not all pretty and nice, she had lots of sarcastic lines and banter – especially with my side-kick cat ‘Scram’ – and I got to really pull out all the stops with my facial expressions, it was a great opportunity to let out my inner clown. It was very nice to receive so many lovely comments about my performance from the audience, lots of people said they really enjoyed it and that I was very funny, so I’m glad my ‘over the top’ style worked.
Within this show along with some jazz and tap routines, I danced an excerpt from ‘Les Sylphides’ with other Apollo Theatre Company and School dancers. It was all en pointe, and all the traditional choreography from the Royal Ballet version. I was given a hard solo within the piece, with Releves on one foot in Arabesque turning, which I was fairly worried about pulling off.
Luckily the Releves were on my right foot, but it was still a very big challenge as I had only been back on pointe one week before I was taught this choreography. I was nervous each time I did them, but I would just literally grit my teeth and push as hard as I could into that supporting leg and foot. I had about 4 weeks of practice at this before the show, and I felt happy with my performance. No-one in the audience would know the amount of stress that was in my head while I was dancing, and carefully placing each step en pointe. That is the beauty of Ballet, if you can make it look easy while you are busting your guts out, like anyone could do it, then you have succeeded.
So now that most dance schools are breaking for the summer holidays, it’s the time for lots of events and hopefully that means lots of work for dancers like myself. I’m going to continue working on my technique over summer and do lots of practice so that I don’t loose any ground that I have covered in the lead up to these shows. Even when you are a professional dancer, your work on your technique is never finished. Maybe that’s why dancing is so addictive!