Steven’s posts from Japan have been fascinating!  Thanks, Steven, for keeping us all in the loop with your adventures over there.  Next, we’re expecting a fashion show of the results of your shopping expeditions.

Back at the ranch, we are starting our third week of rehearsals for the Duets program.  How do the weeks go by so quickly??  The time has a way of evaporating, despite how hard we’re working to make the most out of every hour.  Only about three weeks left until opening night, and although that may sound like a lot, keep in mind that there are five ballets on this program, one of which is a world premiere.  Two of the pieces have not been completely set yet, and we haven’t even started learning another of the ballets.  The other two are set, but not in the range of ready-to-go.  So… the next few weeks are going to be hard.

This period of time has special significance for me personally.  Many of you know that I am retiring from performing after this program and my last performance will be the closing show of this run.  Although I’ve known for quite some time, of course, that this would be happening, as each day and week passes I am more and more incredulous that it really IS.  As prepared as I am for “the day after”, there is no way to truly be ready.  I simply cannot imagine what I am and what my life is without being a professional dancer.  I am excited to find out, but from where I stand right now, I can’t tell you what it will be like.

One strange feeling among many as I travel through these last few weeks of an 18-year career is the acute sense of immediacy versus the long view.  To do what I have to do between now and May 2, I have to focus on each day as hard as ever, fixate on each step of each ballet, work as hard in class, take as much care of my body.  There’s no coasting to the finish line.  It makes looking ahead to “retirement” (so weird to say that word) quite difficult and odd, because I’m still going through each dancing day as I always have— there is no other way.
I do try to be more cognizant of my surroundings throughout each day, though, noticing the details that I know I will miss and appreciating them.  The little moments in rehearsal, the ritual of class, the atmosphere and dynamic between my colleagues, my boss, the pianist, and even the room we work in.  I should be taking more photos!

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