Six Flags Ballerina Rollercoaster

Hey all you BFan fans,

Well, it’s been 2.5 weeks since Bossa Brasil, and we all have to admit that we talk about posting on the blog every day, and know that it has truly suffered from lack of attention of late! We had so much fun—and worked so hard and so FAST—to produce our last show, that I think we suffered from both a bit of exhaustion and even a little depression with it all over. Thanks so much for your patience with us as we “recover.”

And here we get the topic for today’s blog: the post-performance rollercoaster. What happens after a show is truly a dancer phenomenon. A lot of what happens is what one might expect…you’re relieved, excited, proud. The grateful audience pats still hum on your shoulder, the praise still warms your eardrums. It rocks! You’re rolling.

BUT while you relive the moments that you “nailed,” you also suffer the memories of a balance that should have been longer, a turn that ought have been a double or triple. Sometimes there’s even this weird thing that happens where you wish you’d lived it more, given it three hundred percent instead of just two hundred percent. Whoosh. So in addition to the exhilaration, there’s also a funny sense of sadness, regret, depression. Of course, one can always attribute this particular occurrence to the science that articulates it perhaps most appropriately: it makes sense that you feel weird, because your body is on withdrawal from an overdose of adrenaline that you have, as an athlete/artist, become addicted to in the lead-up to the production, yada yada etc. Sometimes, however, the withdrawal can feel much more psychological. And my dimestore theology is that at BFan, we are so intimately tied to the choreography—both because we create so much original stuff and also because the process of creating it can be quite collaborative—that it means as a performer, you’re that much more immersed in your role. (Take that, Black Swan! We have psycho-dramatic ballet experiences, too!)When you’re done and you have to let it go, it’s kind of sad and lonely without it in your body, as crazy as that probably sounds.

And accordingly, we take a quick break after the show. With a week “layoff,” as it’s called in the dancer world, we can return to normalcy for a bit, deal with all of these conflicting emotions, rest the gimpy achilles and the tight hamstrings. We splurge a little and eat some stuff that we haven’t even looked at for a month, we goof around, we take it easy. I get to read some books for fun and “chillax.”

But then the rollercoaster starts again, and this time it hurts—we have to get back in shape! Oof. The conventional wisdom is in the ballet world, “one day off, you notice; two days off, your teacher notices; three days off, EVERYONE notices!” Unfortunately, this little saying is awfully accurate. You’re sore, turnout feels foreign somehow already, and things are popping and cracking!

Back on up, though, folks. Because despite all of the misery of getting back in shape, it also feels GREAT. It’s so good to be back in the studio, back in our bodies, ready to embody the next thing.

We can’t wait.

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