This is theatre week for us at ballet school; Thursday we have lengthy tech rehearsals, Friday dress rehearsals, and two curtains on Saturday. The academic year draws to a close, its labors bear fruit, the school’s young dancers showcase what they have learned in the guise of ambitious new works created just for them. Predictably there are nerves and excitement in roughly equal measure. The kids will dance well as they have demonstrated in their classes lately and (we hope) enjoy the experience of being part of a large cast of peers, for which there is no substitute. Their families will eat it with a spoon, as they should. We wish every single one of them the best of luck (we say merde in the ballet world, and yes, it means what you think). And the school’s staff will wipe its collective brow when the final curtain comes down. Later there will be time for a post mortem, as always. But for now it’s all about the kids.
For me this weekend marks the end of my second academic year on faculty at the school (just over a decade as a classical ballet teacher), approaching the end of my second calendar year as a Vermonter. Two difficult years of transitions, some of them agonizing, have changed me, imbued me with a bit more character, some savvy, and not a little skepticism about the future.
Now I am crossing another threshold, this time as a writer. Soon my work will appear in this magazine. I have wanted to write professionally for a while now. Being paid to “put the words down and push them a bit,” as Evelyn Waugh once described his own writing, could not be more thrilling. (Like dancing a new ballet on the stage.)
I am feeling tuckered out and content, even if that condition is ephemeral. Signing off this beautiful, chilly Vermont night with happy anticipation for the coming days.