I heart Michigan
Location: Interlochen, MI
Class with Grand Rapids Ballet today at 11 AM. I was all over the place-probably a combination of not having a complete class for two weeks and driving for three hours beforehand. Considering the circumstances, I guess I did ok. I had good focus, just lousy control. Somehow, it was still quite fun.
It wasn't an official audition--they've already made hiring decisions, and it was really more about me checking out the company than them checking out my dancing. The associate artistic director taught an awesome class. Very aerobic barre: we would do exercises to one side, turn immediately to the other, then turn immediately back to repeat on relevé. Nothing too tricky at the barre. Center was difficult: lots of turning and grand pirouette exercises. (We did attitude front turns, a la seconde en dedans turns, and arabesque turns!) Only a little bit of jumping. I would definitely keep improving if I took that kind of class every day as a company class. They didn't talk to me afterwards, but since it wasn't an official audition, there wasn't really anyone there to talk to me. The associate artistic director gave me some attention during class, then rushed off. I hope that it was because of their short (30 minute) lunch break before rehearsals, and not my dancing that made her rush off, but who knows? I enjoyed her class--it was definitely worth the drive. Made me realize how out of shape I am for NSAL. I have a lot of work to do this week. But back to Grand Rapids
The studio space is beautiful, in an ugly part of town. It's a renovated industrial building. The studio we took class in was being converted into a blackbox for their next show. It was an excellent floor and a pretty big square footage. There was at least one other big studio. I didn't poke around too much-I arrived 15 minutes before class started. Everyone was very professional inside and outside of class. Nobody was terribly friendly to me, but nobody was cold either. They all seemed to be focusing on preparations for this show.
This company is definitely on my list for auditions next year. They do lots of performing, and they have a relatively long season. The dancers seem to be respected by the artistic staff, and the teacher today was definitely respected by the dancers. I'm not sure if it's a place I would like to have my whole career with, but it would be an amazing first job. I just hope that I perform better in class next time, when it's an official audition!
So, after class was over, I was positively drenched in sweat, and my car had been sitting in the sun, so I gobbled up a quick lunch before turning on the A/C and heading out: I had packed a balance bar and some trail mix. After that class/workout this wasn't going to cut it. I drove for 20 miles on 131, and I found a "Ruby's Diner." I decided to stop for a second lunch, like the hobbits would.
It was a very cool former railroad cars-turned-restaurant. I got a delicious veggie wrap and drank lots and lots of water. Too much water, unfortunately. I must have been dehydrated (I shall not forget my water bottle again next trip...) and I got a terrible stomacheache. So I stopped another 20 miles down the road and had some Pepto Bismol and a nap. Feeling much better again, I drove the rest of the way to Interlochen.
It was a pretty entertaining drive. I passed three (yes, three) trucks with entire houses on their beds. Two of them were traveling together, but the third, I am quite sure, was unrelated. I also found out that there's a place called "Big Rapids, MI." Also, did you know that there is a James Dean museum in Northern Indiana? I was tempted to stop just to see what it was, but I was already a bit behind schedule for getting to class.
I got in to Interlochen Arts Academy around 4:30. After finding Mrs. K (my former math teacher-she is so kind and is putting me up for two nights,) I went to the dance building. Surprisingly, I know quite a few of the students. Mostly from camp. There were also a couple of dance majors who danced with me (freshmen when I was a senior.) I watched a couple of rehearsals and was very impressed by everything and everyone.
After talking to Mark and Wendy, I have come up with a nice little schedule for myself tomorrow: barre with the general dance class at 10, rehearsals for my NSAL solos on my own at 10:30 or so, class with the majors at 1:00 and 2:20 (modern then ballet,) then watching some rehearsals and maybe (hopefully!) a coaching session with Mark for the variations. I might go to the gym in the morning too. But I have to figure out where it is now. They have converted JVS into a beautiful library...so what did they do with all of the gym equipment? Ah, the mysteries of life and Interlochen.