Saturday, May 3, 2014

A Dance Hope Explosion

I pause today and look back on the week.

My breath catches.

So much unimaginable good.

When Gala was over last year, the seniors took their bows at the final cast call. Ase had a far away look in his eye. Zany stood next to him-a Junior- playing his part honoring the seniors. His face held an empty smile.

It was not nostalgia.
It was not anticipating loss of friendships.
It was emptiness. Their dancing artistic soul was hollow from burn out.

Personality clashes turned nuclear in the spring. It soured the spirit of Ase's senior year accomplishments. Both were reluctant to dance again, nervous about repercussions, but they did. Zany reveled in the roll as Nutcracker’s Mouse King. Ase took classes and focused on a competitive dance team within our studio.

Through the year Ase realized the toll of working and going to school. He couldn't dance at the level he wanted to. Our small town had no other options for him. The potential offer across the country to dance professionally seemed an allusive goal. It seamed to be time to leave dance behind. It was time to focus on school and his future with his second passion, astronomy.

Ase prepared for the West Coast Dance Explosion, the last dance convention for the year. He got off work we piled into the car at 6:30. We knew it was going to be tight-LA Friday evening traffic- and the performances began at 5:00. Ase was slated to dance at 10:00.

Miracles of miracles on a Friday night in the rain, we hit no traffic and arrived with 40 minutes to spare. Plenty of time to calm nerves, warm up, walk it through and go on.

Once settled into our room, Ase opened his heart. Feeling frustrated and discouraged he didn’t want dance to end this way: in frustration. As a family, one of our mottos is:

Finish Well

Saturday started with a ballet class, his favorite. From there the day built to a satisfactory crescendo. The night’s performances were beautiful and there was joy in his eye again.

Sunday held a few classes and a conference audition. In the last class of the day, they are taught choreography then have to audition it. Depending on how well they do as individuals, a prize is awarded.

Ase's number was called and he went; not too surprised, boys are rare in the dance world. After the awards were handed out, I waited for him to find me in all the madness. Just as I was mind numbingly comfortable a friend rushed up to me:


I blinked. “What?”


Double blinked, “What?”

This time she took a breath and with deliberation said, “Ase is going to Vegas. He won the Elite Award.”

My breath caught, “Wait… what does that mean?”

He gets to perform a solo and compete nationally against other dancers. IN VEGAS!”

I directed her to go tell him because I knew he had no clue. The expression from across the room was the “everyone gets a ribbon” face.

I watched as she went through the same thick headed dialog with him. His expression changed to the “deer in the headlights.”

We spent dinner, the drive home and two hours more discussing it. Figuring out fund raising and creative revenue streams were brainstormed. Somehow we will make it work: my sewing, his penny pinching, odd jobs...

Ase will be dancing on a national platform for a week: special performances, classes, auditions and competition against the other Elite winners. It is with this breath of possibility he is revisiting dancing professionally for a year.

Maybe it doesn't need to be over.

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