Xuan Cheng and Lucas Threefoot pas de chat in rehearsal for Ekho, one of 4 works on the Body Beautiful program that opens Saturday. Photo by Blaine Truitt Covert.

Shows are coming up, and fast. It’s hard for me to believe that we have been rehearsing for five weeks already, but considering how last week went, it is also very apparent.

We are gearing up. This is the time when we do run-throughs and notes. Then more run-throughs and more notes.

This is the time to perfect as best as we can, as dancers, as repetiteurs, as stage managers and as set-builders (a huge thank you everyone for your help and support! Check out photos of volunteers helping build the set of Ekho here).

This is the final push, where all of the momentum gathers into a swirling mass of choreography, movement, sets, light, excitement, where all of our hard work in weeks past comes together, where sweat, coffee, and adrenaline all mix with one another to make the show as best as is humanly possible (and something that we hope looks even better than mere humans can put on). As dancers, we are preparing, always preparing to perform for our audience, but now is different. Now is when we hunker down.

I’m writing this post on Monday, our last day off before our chaotic next week – this is the calm before the storm. And that’s why I’m doing absolutely nothing but staying in my house today. I’ll probably watch some Hulu, do some laundry, and finish a house project, but beyond that I will do nothing. Even writing this post was a stretch for me today, but I thought it could be interesting for some of you out there to see how we think pre-show.

Our goal as dancers is to prepare as best as we know how to for the shows this weekend. How, you ask?

Pretty much anything you can think of that is a part of life is on our mind. How much sleep we get and on what nights, how much and what kind of food we eat and when, our energy levels and how much to put into each rehearsal, and even how much time I want to spend on a blog post – these are all considerations. While some of us may be more cerebral about it and others may be more intuitive, all of this preparation is in the interest of optimizing our bodies and minds for the show. The truth is, we don’t necessarily know the best path for the best performance. But what is exciting is our quest for perfection: although we will never reach it, we strive for it anyway. It’s what we know as dancers.

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments board; I’d be happy to explain more details of this chaotic final pre-show week!

Come see why we have devoted six entire weeks of our lives to this show. Body Beautiful performs October 13 – 20 at the Keller Auditorium. I’d love to see you at the show!

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