Just Call Me Grandma! It’s All In How You Look at It……………………………

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Today the casting announcement came out for the Oklahoma City Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker!  After the two plus hour audition on Saturday, I didn’t know what to think.  Well, turns out I was cast in the role of the Grandma in the party scene in Act I.  At first, I wasn’t sure about playing Grandma.  Last year, I was a Peppermint Page.  Not a big part, but since I was new to the studio and I had taken all of three classes before the audition, I figured that at least I got a part (though I think they do try to give a part to everybody who tries out).  This year, I thought I’d be cast in what they seemed to cast all the girls in my current level in last year – a party girl.  I would take that.  Then the audition came and I was called back after the audition for my age group to go into the older girls’ audition group, so I was expecting to get a pretty good part.  At least I hoped.  My mom says to “manage your expectations; then you won’t be disappointed.”  If something good comes your way, you’ll be “pleasantly surprised.”  I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised.  When I found out I would be Grandma (sharing the role with a 16-year-old in my group), I thought “What does the Grandma do?  Nobody is going to remember me as the Grandma.  I don’t even remember the Grandma.”  Then I looked at some of the other casting.  I also looked at last year’s program book and lo and behold, two adults shared the role of Grandma.  Then, I started to feel better about the part.  Maybe it was a good part, after all.  When I got to dance class today, the other girls asked me if I was excited to be playing the Grandma.  I told them, I guess so.  Then they said that the Grandma had a solo.  I didn’t remember the Grandma having a solo last year, but I am all about having a solo, even a teensy, tiny solo.

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So, from now on, you can just call me Grandma!

The History of Ballet

Hello everyone!  Long time, no blog.  I’ve been having a very busy, yet relaxing summer.  It’s almost time to go back to school and for dance classes to start-up again.  Because I am a dancer and talk so much about my love for dance, I decided to write a series of blog posts about the history of different kinds of dance.  For my first post in the series, I am going to start with the form of dance I love the most – ballet!  I started ballet at the age of five and I didn’t much appreciate it in the beginning.  Now, I go to a dance studio where the main focus is ballet technique.  Now I am so much better at it because it’s all that I do.  The history of ballet is as interesting as the art form itself.  The word ballet comes from French and was borrowed into English around the 17th century.  The French word in turn has its origins in Italian balletto, but uses the shortened version of ballo (dance).

Ballet ultimately traces back to Italian ballare, meaning to dance.  According to Wikipedia, ballet originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th and 16th centuries and spread from Italy to France.  Catherine de’ Medici and Balthasar de Beaujoyeulx were responsible for presenting the first court ballet ever which applied poetry, dance, music and set design to a storyline.  In the late 17th century Louis XIV founded the Académie Royale de Musique (the Paris Opera), within which emerged the first professional theatrical ballet company, the Paris Opera Ballet.  The dominant use of French in the vocabulary of ballet reflects this history.  Theatrical ballet soon became an independent form of art and spread from Europe to other nations.  The Royal Danish Ballet and the Imperial Ballet of the Russian Empire were founded in the 1740s.  In 1907 the Russian ballet moved back to France.

Soon ballet spread around the world with the formation of new companies, including the San Francisco Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the New York City Ballet, and many others.  In the 20th century, different styles of ballet continued to develop.  The United States choreographer, George Balanchine, developed what is now known as neoclassical ballet.  Subsequent developments have included contemporary ballet and post-structural ballet.  I want to be a ballerina when I grow up.  My favorite ballerina, Misty Copeland, was just named American Ballet Theatre’s first female African-American principal dancer.  I find her to be very inspirational.  Because of her late start in learning how to dance ballet (she was 13) and her race and body type, she is what’s known as an unlikely ballerina.  Keep reading my blog to learn about other forms of dance.
 

This is me in my ballet costume for a group dance I was in during my 5th grade year back in 2013 – 2014.  We danced to Discombobulate.  It is the theme song from the movie, Sherlock Holmes.