The song that gives me butterflies

I was standing in the hallway waiting for class when I heard it coming from a rehearsal.

The Arabian song from Nutcracker. And it’s weird, I felt the butterflies.

Is it strange a song that triggers the emotions when I’m about to go on stage triggers almost the same response a little more than a month from when we perform?

Why does the Arabian music do that for me? It’s simple, I’m in the Chinese dance, which comes after Arabian in order. No other song does that two me even though I’m on stage two other times.

The role of party dad is almost too easy, so the overture at the beginning doesn’t quite make the nerves go. At least in our version of The Nutcracker, party parents are in the background. If we (as in party parents) mess up, no  really notices unless you knock over the tree. The focus is on the kids, Fritz and Clara (or Marie, depending on the version), the dolls and Drosselmeyer (misspelled?).

My other part, I’m under the bed during the battle scene transporting a sleeping Clara all over the stage. No one knows it’s me. Most people think it’s either moving by remote control, or by some other tech form of magic instead of me giving it the “Fred Flintstone” driving treatment.

But when I come on stage for Chinese, it’s a complete different story. I know that for roughly a minute, I am the center of attention, in front of 2,000-3,000 people for seven shows.

That’s why the nerves hit when Arabian plays. That’s why it gives me butterflies every time I hear it.

The weird thing? Once the Chinese music comes on, once I’m on stage, the nerves go away. It’s just one amazing, fun, adrenaline rush.

Can’t believe we’re about a month-and-a-half away.

As for class today, it was really fun.

Mrs. O was serious about driving home points about shaping our feet and using proper body alignment.

She gave us a couple of tricky combinations: Inside turn from second, chasse, pirouette, ton be pas de bouree, repeat in the other direction … and for petite allegro: Glissade, soubre saute (misspelled?), assemble’ right, assemble’ left, glissade assemble’ (right or left depending on the direction we’re going) and for grande allegro: Sissone, sissone, sissone pas de boure’, glissade assemble. (Please forgive my misspelling of ballet steps)

They were tough. But Mrs. O explains steps so well, I was able to do the combinations, although they were a little sloppy. But for the most part, I kept up with the company kids.

I appreciate classes like that.

As I walked out, I looked at the open beginner class were they were doing slow steps.

Don’t get me wrong. Those classes have their place.

And that’s where I started.

But I like classes where I get to move. I like classes where I get to work on tricky combinations and get a sense of accomplishment when I’m able to do them.

5 responses to “The song that gives me butterflies

  • lsavannah

    The Arabian music does that for me, too. This year I’m one of the Chinese soloists in my company’s production, and the first four bassoon counts of the dance get my heart racing in anticipation. It’s even worse if I hear it on a TV commercial!

    • Dancescribe

      My heart pounds. One of the most amazing dancers I know is our lead Arabian and I love to watch her dance. But during Arabian, I going over my steps over and over, even though I’ve done the same part in Chinese for four years.

  • mercietchatons

    I did the sissone combo yesterday. Today we ran through snow, flower, Russian, and Arabian. I started off all wrong today so rehearsals were not much fun and draining for the most part. Not to mention my pointe shoes are not staying on my heel and many other issues. I’m afraid my feet are still shrinking. Baww, must improve my Nutcracker game. It’s approaching so fast!

    • Dancescribe

      I know the feeling about the rehearsals. Things are pretty chaotic for us right. It seems like we’re behind. But we usually pull it together before production week. Things only get more intense for us from here on out. But I love it, what can I say?

  • RO

    You just made my point! Slow classes don’t make my heart race anymore.
    The combination sounds like good fun, although it’s pretty fast and difficult!
    And what a beautiful thing that your heart starts to pound when you hear the Chinese music go on, it just goes to show how conditioned we can be on some levels!

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