One Down, Three to Go

nutmeg premier
Nutmeg’s premier studio that E has been dancing in mostly this week

So, week #1 of 4 is wrapped up for Es Nutmeg Ballet intensive. Glad to say free from injury, just a very tired and sore ballerina. She has expanded her comfort zone, her technique and her stamina so much already in one week. (We have put a lot of miles on our car too.)  She has been placed in the most advanced group, to our delight. But with that comes a high expectation from the teachers, but even more so, herself.  When some of the dancers in her group have to take a break from class due to weariness, she pushes on ’til the end. When the teacher gives the option to do the repertoire piece on pointe or flat, she opts for pointe, despite the blisters, bunions and tendonitis.

After the first day, Es ankle was starting to really bother her, but with some ice, a quick pop in to her wonderful PT (who is also the official PT for Nutmeg coincidentally) and prayers, she got stronger as the week ended. She was relieved to hear how most of the other girls in her group are also tending to sore feet, achy legs and tiredness. What has surprised her (and us) is that her back injury from last summer’s intensive (see this other post regarding that) really hasn’t been an issue, she is back-pain free so far.

A couple of highlights of week #1.

  1. Learning 3 corps repertoire pieces from Swan Lake that will be performed at the Nutmeg Summer Dance Festival, thanks to this week’s guest instructor.
  2. Having her first-ever partnering class with the group of very talented male dancers. To quote Es text minutes after the class, “It was so nice. I had the best partner, he really knew how to partner and gave me a few tips. Everything was good and I jumped super high and spun – it was great.”
  3. Learning to pace herself for the long run. 4 weeks, 6 days a week, 8 hours a day is intense – a lesson we can all learn from.
  4. Really doing this experience almost independently (except for the transport).
  5. She is advocating for herself with teachers, physical therapists, even the food manager (as she is pescatarian) and really maturing.
  6. Mom & Dad realizing that she is a young adult, and has most things under control. Past years, we used to have to ask her if she had her water bottle, did she take her vitamins, etc.  Now, I get the typical teenager answer, “of course I do Mom”.  It’s a bit weird not being so needed anymore, but getting used to the idea.
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