It seems only yesterday that students from all over the country were unpacking their bags for the San Francisco Ballet five week summer intensive. Now we are all repacking our bags and finishing our last week at the summer program. We’ve made great friends, taken amazing classes, and learned many valuable lessons. For these reasons the five weeks have sped by and we now have to prepare ourselves to say goodbye.
This past week has been both a combination of fun and hard work. Even though this is our last week people are still working extremely hard and getting sore in various areas. I had assumed by this time I would stop waking up to sore muscles, but it seems that because we’re always being challenged we’re always getting stronger and using new muscles. It shows just how much we have learned and the newfound knowledge that we’ve acquired and can take back with us.
This week we have also had a dance seminar with the legendary and acclaimed ballet dancer, Jocelyn Vollmar. She had a 75 year long career that included dancing in the first American production of Nutcracker, working in Europe, and teaching and mentoring students. I found her to be extremely inspirational, sweet, and sincere. She not only told us about her life and achievements, but she gave us pointers and critiques to help us become better dancers. One of the most important lessons she tried to convey to us was the idea that we should never settle for what we can do, but we should always challenge ourselves. It seems the fact that I am usually sore is not a bad thing after all. She told us that the day we don’t challenge ourselves is the day we don’t improve and just stay the same. In a sense, what makes dancing fun are the challenges that accompany it and the room for growth and improvement. It certainly is not interesting for either the person or the audience if they are always at the same state and level of dancing. For this reason alone she told us to always strive for more and to always try and create new goals. She was extremely sincere about this and it was clear that she truly loved ballet and wanted us all to succeed and to have a wonderful career like she had had. I hope I can take her insight and really do it justice.
Until next time, I hope all of the dancers who read my blogs enjoyed them. Have a great rest of the summer!