Home Sweet Stage: My First Ballet Post-Babies!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016



I really did it y'all! First ballet after nearly eight years, and two babies. Here's how it went!

I still did my usual double mass attendance (8am with Matt and the kids, and staying to sing with the choir at 9:30am). I have noticed I sing better when I expect to dance afterward. There is something about the headspace I'm in to get ready for dance that corrects my stance and lets the air move better.

Matt was awesome and packed up food for the day while I was singing, so there was just enough time to drop books, grab ballet bags, and head down to the studio.

In most sports one takes the morning of a big game a little easy - maybe you stretch and do a good luck routine.
In ballet we still require you to go to morning class, maybe dance at 90% instead of 100%, to "warm up".

Then carpool really fast to the theater!
Because it was a great idea to make call time 15 minutes after class ends at a studio 20 minutes away.

But we still get there like:


Because dancers, we're still going to squeeze in another dress rehearsal right before performance.

Now it you've never done a dance performance you might not be acquainted with the joys of false eyelashes. You, quite literally, glue unnaturally long and thick fake hair to your eyelids. Seriously, who thinks of these things?!

It always make me feel a little like this:

It is the most stressful part of getting stage makeup on. Far enough into the face-getting-on process to REALLY mess things up if you do it wrong.

Rush, get makeup on!
Rush, get hair re-done (because you just danced hard for over an hour!)
Rush, get costume on!
Get to the stage door!
The wings!
On!
Dance, dance!

Now wait for four hours.

I always feel just like this:

You want the performance to happen. Really! 
What were all of those hours of rehearsals and late nights choreographing for if you don't perform it?

But, when you know this is a one off show, it also means the last time. The last time with this partner, on this stage, in this costume, doing this dance. 

A dance that has become something like a typically misbehaving toddler who suddenly does life in an amazing and perfect way!

There was some of our worst flubs in recent weeks during the final dress rehearsal so it was a "now or never" kind of moment before taking places on stage.

I never know exactly what is going to happen when those lights come on and the music starts.

But this time it was magic.

A funny thing happens under stage lights - suddenly there is nothing but you, the music, and your partner in the entire world.

We came off stage and met in the back hallway and did a double handed version of this:

Now, I will have no real idea of what it looked like until the film comes out, and I'm told that could be a good while, but it felt awesome!

Since it was still Mother's Day and all, Matt took me out for dinner.

Obviously the best post-performance feast involves an Old Fashioned and ALL THE CARBS!!
Seriously, there was a pizza too.
Thank you for everyone who came to the performance and who have been so supportive in getting back to this point! I'm truly amazed in the body's ability to grow stronger in such a (relatively) short time and just how much muscle memory was still in there. 

It would not have been possible without all the time, feedback, and willingness to put up with my (admittedly odd) dance process. Y'all are the best. :)

5 comments :

  1. Congrats Kirby!! I hope you enjoyed your experience, I am sure it went swimmingly.

    I loved reading about each step of the process and seeing an awesome mama make time for something she loves.

    Amy @ The Salt Stories

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  2. Kirby, that is so cool that you got back and did a ballet after so long-and while being a mom of 2! Congrats on accomplishing all of that :) The memes in this post are somewhat perfect, and I shudder at the thought of gluing on fake eyelashes-yikes! It sounds like an awesome day!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Anne Marie! I love the moment when people I've been dancing with for months discover I have two YOUNG kids. There is a lot of shock, and then a relief. I'm so glad this studio really gets behind supporting non-traditional dancers.

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  3. I loved reading about this! Dancing for the first time post babies was a little scary for me, but in the end it felt like coming home. So glad you had a good and enjoyable performance. Here's to many more! :)

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