2015 was a year of extremes. In June her studio put on their first story ballet in a couple
of years – Alice in Wonderland. I am amazed at how this performance came together – it was a perfect time to put on a story ballet – just the right dancers had the right parts. What a task that was. Parents – please PLEASE listen: if you want your studio’s performances to be successful, don’t question the teachers/directors reasonings behind rehearsal times, extra rehearsals, cost of costumes, etc. I will writing an entire post dedicated to being a “good” studio parent – a must read for new and seasoned parents. It was very enlightening to observe from a parent perspective on how the attitude of some parents were being mimicked by their children – good and bad. The ballet went off wonderfully, and there were some wonderful volunteers. E played the part of Alice and one of the Tweedles (they couldn’t decide who would bee Dee and who would be Dum, so they were just the Tweedles). I was amazed at the few “older” dancers including E, who had to be there day in, day out at extras classes, rehearsals, etc and almost never complaining.
At the last minute, or at least a week before, we decided via urging from her teacher, for her to attend the CUSA summer intensive. This would be different than last year, where E and I drove to Richmond. This year it was being held at UC Santa Barbara. I didn’t feel right taking off the week, not being a chaperone, so I couldn’t sit in on any classes. So, with some very valid reasonings from E, her dad & I decided it was a chance to release the reigns a little, and she flew off from Boston, through San Francisco and then to Santa Barbara all by herself. What made it easier is that she and I knew many of the teachers and chaperones from the prior year. E was texting periodically during each few day, gladly getting updates. Then several days in, she called, and mentioned that her back was hurting, and just thought she overdid the stretching in one class. But that wasn’t the case – it kept getting worse and worse. The hardest part of this situation is being on the other side of the country – I couldn’t keep her calm, help her decide what to do next, etc. Mom was, shall we say, not doing well being helpless. But with help from friends, we prayed, we kept breathing, and just stayed in contact with E and her chaperones through the week. She ended up for the first time ever at an emergency room, as they pain was pretty bad – they diagnosed her with a severe back sprain and gave her good meds. Now, she had to wait several days to get her flight home, and I anxiously awaited for that day. When she finally came through the security doors, all I did was give her the biggest hug, yes, cry a little with her, and feel her entire body just relax knowing she was home. But to to this day, she doesn’t regret going. This experienced showed me that E is no longer a little girl, but a young woman who does take responsibility for herself, her dancing and now traveling.
So, summer is ending, and E’s back is still hurting. We found a great local physical therapist that works primarily with dancers nearby. After a few weeks, E had improved, as she was not only doing the PT exercises, but pilates several times a week, but the PT didn’t like how slowly things were progressing. So, be sure, x-rays were taken. Lo and behold, nothing more than a severe sprain, but we discovered that she has thoracic and lumbar – it’s not so severe that is requires surgery (which would end E’s ballet life), but it explains a lot of issues that she’s been having over the years. Her doctor had told her that one leg was longer than another, but it was really her back. And her left hip is less flexible than her right, which would go alongside her curves. So, it’s something she has to live with, work out and adjust her technique. We are so glad this came out now, at least.