As dancers return to the studios for our Create in Place project, they will share their thoughts in our “A Dancer’s Diary” series. Below is an entry by company dancer, Lucy Nevin.
“It’s helpful knowing there’s newborn sunlight in the morning to calm me each day of 2020.”
-my journal, 8/17/20
“I had not danced that early in a long time; months, to be exact. 9:30 class began on Zoom, coworkers in England studio, Philips studio, and some of us at home. Rubén began teaching class and though I’ve been taking his class all summer over zoom (which he generously started to help keep us dancers in shape), the energy and my approach to class was different. It wasn’t just a “here we go again, dancing in my tiny apartment.” This time I could feel the motivation and excitement as I presented my first tendues. It was a feeling I hadn’t felt in so long; my early morning body just waking up, my desire to impress my ballet master, and the willingness to do whatever it took to have a satisfactory class within myself.
Working from home has its advantages. Though the space is small, it is my space. I can perform each exercise or combination as many times as I want, not having to worry about kicking another body, though the occasional chair. I have the invisibility of zoom, the option to turn off my camera and focus on working on a step I may not feel the most confident with. It’s like the cloak of invisibility that Harry Potter wears. I can escape from class, while still being present, and returning when I wish after I’ve taken that mental time for myself and my body to reset and figure itself out.
Though my first class back with TWB was virtual, I felt connected to my friends and coworkers just three blocks away in the studios. Rubén’s energy is always ecstatic, but his classes with us, his TWB family, are even more touching. I wasn’t able to dance next to my friends as was the situation in the “old world”, but I was able to dance alongside their little Zoom boxes on my laptop. We are all in this together, and that thought is one that inspires and motivates me to keep chugging… like in Giselle.
My apartment gets hot and I like it that way. I turn off the air conditioning to sweat as much as possible and disgustingly end up fogging up my windows. But the feeling of a sweat-drenched leotard clinging to my body is one that I absolutely love. Looking down at my sweat stains makes me feel accomplished. I did something hard, I worked my best.
I am eager and ready to return to the studios, if not physically, at least mentally. My body will catch up to the fire I feel in my soul now that things have begun again. But I’m treading lightly because, like in love, I don’t want my heart to break again. I don’t want to get my hopes up that I will return to the studio and suddenly that opportunity is snatched from me again. It’s scarring to lose what you love, even if it’s only temporary. I am reading Steven King’s “11/22/63”, and something he writes in the book is “Life turns on a dime.” That was exactly what happened that Friday in March when we were all informed that we would not be returning to work the following week and needed to quarantine. For the sake of my healing heart, I am hoping for the best and expecting the worst. But I am certainly positive. I’ve been dancing at home for this long, what’s another few weeks, months? But not more. I’m begging the universe. Please, I need this precious time.” -Lucy Nevin
Header photo: Lucy Nevin and Marcelo Gomes in George Balanchine’s Allegro Brilliante by xmbphotography.