Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Nervous? Shhhhh...... Northern Ballet's Over 55 Class End of Term Show

Today I went behind the scenes of the Stanley and Audrey Theatre for the first time. It was the technical rehearsal for the our class's turn in the Academy of Northern Ballet - End of Year Show 2014 and I am one of the dancers would you believe. Only last week I saw Tobias Batley, Martha Leebolt and all the other great dancers on that stage. And I am going to be following them. You have no idea how proud that makes me feel.

Proud but apprehensive because this is a first for me. When I was at prep school I dreamed of being Perry Mason, winning the Nobel Prize, opening the batting for England, even of being Prime Minister but never in my wildest dreams did I dare to believe that I would ever dance in a ballet in a major theatre in a great city before a paying audience. I didn't even dream of it last September when I took my first lessons with Annemarie (see "Realizing a Dream" 12 Sept 2013).

So what made me so have a go? Well I saw David Wilson of Dave Tries Ballet in Stockport in February (see "Good Show - Bristol Russians' Cinderella in Stockport"  19 Feb 2014). He and the other members of his company were having so much fun. Ballet is a performing art and while we can't all be as good as Antoinette Sibley or Anthony Dowell we can all perform. I was tempted again when I saw the wonderful Chelmsford Ballet especially after I met Annette Potter, Marion Pettet and Jessica Wilson. I'm an associate member of that company and I can hardly let the side down. The tipping point was when Gail Gordon of Chantry Dance hauled me on stage and filmed me and the camera didn't protest (see "Chantry Dance Company's Sandman and Dream Dance"  10 May 2014).

So I have been working very hard with my teachers Annemarie at Northern Ballet, Fiona at Team Hud and Lucy at Hype. I'm 65 years old. I've got no coordination. I'm overweight. But I'm passionate about dance and will give it my best shot. Mel will be in the audience to review the show - not just our contribution but the whole Academy's. Though she is my friend I respect her integrity and trust her not to pull her punches. So I think the consensus on Sunday morning will be don't give up the day job. Just as well that my clerk always has something for me to do on Monday morning.

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