So here’s the thing: I’ve grown a lot thicker since even eighth grade. What’s surprised me is my own attitude about it.
I don’t think I can just be “accepting” of my own body. Unfortunately, ballet is not a sport—it’s an art form, and art is created and curated for visual pleasure. We as a society haven’t reached the point where skinny and plump are interchangably beautiful, probably for the very real reason that obesity is unhealthy, and it’s survival instinct to be attracted to fit people in order to replicate healthy genes. My point is that no one goes to watch a fat ballerina dance. It’s visually unpleasing. Essentially, my body is my tool for my craft in the same way a pianist’s piano is, for instance, or an artist’s canvas and paints. Your art is limited in some respects by the quality of your main tool. And the quality of a ballerina’s body is comprised of height, flexibility, strength, and thinness. I used to have decent amounts of each. What happened to the last?
It was early September when I scrolled through Instagram in the City View Lounge at Ballet Austin, eating a whole-wheat turkey-celery wrap, and rushed into the audition room almost late and sans makeup. I thought I had this in the bag; after all, I was a junior (one of the oldest in the group; they couldn’t possibly make a junior a Cavalry/Chinese), and grace was one of my few strong suits in ballet. At least, I thought so.
We started out doing Clara’s variation, one group at a time, so that Steven Mills and Mr. Piner could see. Who knows, I thought (half-rueful, half-serious), maybe they want a Chinese Clara this year—maybe I really am beautiful enough. I didn’t entertain these visions for long (although now, looking back, I wonder how many of my other classmates had similar thoughts). Continue reading
Sorry this final update comes so late! It’s taken a while to recover physically and start to process this trip. It took quite a few hours to actually write this. This is a much longer update, fair warning… It only covers sentiments from the weekish after the trip, and even during that week things have been changing, so this is only an ad interim conclusion, if you will. I believe that God will continue to change me.
Saturday was a full day of travel, complete with customs in Houston and plenty of joking around/sharing pictures with each other. We arrived in the Austin airport around 6:40pm and Annie (David’s wife) was the first to greet us… and as our parents or spouses arrived there were the joyful reunions. Andrew tackled me and wouldn’t let me go during the entire baggage-claiming process. Love the guy. Continue reading