Reflection is indeed the right word. After spending 6 weeks in New York City with my son Colin, It took almost a week to put thoughts together about Colin's dancing, New York City, and the Bolshoi. If you followed me on FaceBook from June 23rd through August 6th, I gave almost a daily update of our activities. I am so glad that I did that because it serves as a diary of my summer. I did not mention, however, the wonderful final performance that the Bolshoi master teachers staged on August 3rd. It was three hours of the most beautiful ballet variations and Russian character dances that I have ever seen all in the Alvin Ailey Citigroup theater. I think that Colin's performance literally stunned my husband and his twin sister Claire. His entire physique changed as did his technique. Colin was the strongest I have seen him and I think that just amazed Marc. At that moment, I was never more proud of him and so incredibly happy that I was able to seize this unique chaperon opportunity.
Colin loved this training and hopes to study in Moscow one day soon. If only..... For now, we are thinking we might be able to send him one more time this summer with a sizable scholarship. Meanwhile, We have to prepared Colin for actually going out into the world. A contract with a ballet company is his first and foremost dream. However, he will be auditioning for college programs at Butler and Indiana University as well. I feel this is so important. Jobs in ballet even if you are a male, are hard to come by and Colin really wants to dance with a well known company. So my question to him is and was: "And what do you do if you do not get a contract?" His obvious choice and answer was "College."
I learned a little something about myself too, while in NYC. I learned I could navigate anything with google maps. I learned that I could live on $150.00 a week (for a food budget). Traders Joe's was a God send. I learned that I truly never get tired of watching men dance. I was in Colin's classes every day for 6 weeks, about 7 hours per day. I learned that I can handle medical emergencies and dance injuries. We had quite a few issues with the young women. I learned that I can handle an entire floor of young women and their caddiness. I learned that I can act as a therapist for a myriad of relationship problems. I learned that I could jump into action every time I had someone knock on my door at 2 in the morning.I learned that I looked forward to my one on one talks with Colin. I actually got to know him, his dreams, his goals, his love of dance. That was perhaps the most rewarding of all, getting to know my son who is just on the verge of adulthood. I learned that I love New York City. There were so many places I did not get to but at the same time, I never wasted a moment exploring. The vibe in New York is very art orientated. It is, after all, one of the best performing arts venues in the world and all arts are highly visible. The museums were awe inspiring and I came away with so many ideas for my own art. I could definitely live in and around this marvelous city. I learned a lot about ballet. And I think I learned about what it takes to train a serious male dancer for a professional career ( that's an entire blog post by itself and then some).
So there it is in a nutshell. I am so thankful to the Bolshoi Ballet Academy and the Russian American Foundation for making this happen for Colin and myself. I am so thankful for my husband for sacrificing his summer so that I could go to New York with Colin. I am so very thankful for my daughters who helped out, especially Claire who did a lot of cooking and driving herself to and from her own ballet intensive. As I head into the Autumn season, I have a lot to prepare for. Colin and Claire will be priorities. We have college visits, college auditions, and company auditions looming. I know I won't have much time for my own art. This senior year will fill my art time totally. I do have one art show coming up and that is just around the corner in September. I need to get going to prepare for that and hopefully will be able to blog about it soon