Week 18&19: Stronger in Marriage

So, last week I was only able to do ballet class and Pilates. I had the Hubbard Street 2 workshop where we took ballet from terry, improvisation, and the HS2 dancers taught us small portions of two rep pieces. It was such an amazing day! Then we got to ask them about their experiences and such, which was very insightful.

The next day, Sunday, I was able to audition for Oklahoma City ballet, which was very scary since it was my first ballet audition and for a company! I noticed how tense and scared everyone else was, which helped me relax a lot – maybe way too much. 🙂 either way I had fun, but was eventually cut (much further along than I had thought!).

This past week has been great! Unfortunately, because my body felt a bit off I didn’t attend class on Monday; which was good because there was a snowstorm, practically! But for the remainder of the week, I took ballet, Pilates and contemporary. Thursday there was smoke at school so we had to evacuate the building. Contemporary was cancelled. But things are fine now, it was just a transformer.

This weekend has been quite special to me. I had the opportunity to come out to the suburbs to perform with Becky Mikos, a superb dancer and friend. I was so excited but I had heard horror stories about the suburbs. What I found was unexpected… I loved it. I felt so much stress melt away being here; in fact, it reminded me of home. Here are some pictures!!!!

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Two of those pictures were of willow creek, a contemporary styled Christian church where we performed for the Stronger series, our focus this weekend was: stronger in marriage. Tech and run-throughout went well. Performing three times: Saturday evening, as well as Sunday morning and late morning (9&10:45a)! It was such a beautiful cause, and we got much praise for it. A lot of couples crying, and coming up to us letting us know how we impacted them. It felt GOOD!!!

I’m not religious, but the great thing about willow creek is that it’s all inclusive! They don’t make you feel left out, and don’t judge. The sermons are more up to date and practical, by using passages of the bible and relating them to real life. The building is ginormous and beautiful. The stage was impressive. I was so lucky to have this experience.

Becky and I listened to the service after we performed the last time. I’m not religious.. At all.. But it was a powerful message. And I needed to blog this, to my ex:

Hearing the service, stronger in marriage, I feel that I never explained myself to you. Nor you to me. It puts me through so much pain to know we didn’t work out. Now that I’ve been in Chicago long enough, it has given me time to reflect on my life, especially those last few months when we shared a home with each other. Those were the best days I’ve had. I miss them, I miss you. I never stopped loving you and I still feel the same. But, I couldn’t ever go back because we weren’t fixable. I’m so sorry for everything. I was hurt by you when you lied and cheated. What you did, might not be considered cheating to you, but having a second life of intimacy of any sort with everyone but the person next to you in bed is cheating in my eyes.

I know I said I forgave you for everything but I never did. I probably should have. I was in so much pain, and all that time we were divided. We never ONCE came together and forgave each other. I put you through hell, taking away your liberties to appease myself, and that wasn’t right. I wish I would have acted differently, I wish I could have given you everything you wanted. Maybe I didn’t love you enough, or show you enough. Like said in church “you should ask those scary questions. And hear those scary answers.” I always asked those scary questions, but I was too afraid to LISTEN to your scary answers. I wish we would have communicated better. I wish we could have those moments back on the couch, eating biscuits, pizza, watching adventure time, and keeping Claudia (cat) away from the food. I wish you didn’t have to “work” on my graduation so you could’ve met my family. I wish we would have both been honest with ourselves and each other. I wish you could have talked to people through any means as though I was there; to avoid temptation. I wish we could have had decades and durability. I loved waking next to you each morning, and sleeping next to you each night. I loved hugging you tightly, even though you always complained about it being too hot. I loved waking you up dead into the night because we’d seen a scary movie and I thought there were aliens on our roof. I loved our runs followed by ice cream. I loved watching you dance. I loved being with you.

I see that we both had our own lives, as dancers. I chose to come to chicago and pursue dance – I gave everything I had up, even you, to be here. You did the same everyday I lived with you. I wish we would’ve known our time was limited. I wish I, or you, wouldn’t have gone for walks after arguments; we should’ve stayed and discussed it. I wish you would have moved with me. I wish I could’ve been there for you in your bad times, instead of holding what you did over your head. As much as we fought, you would’ve thought we put more emphasis on US. We didn’t take time for us. We didn’t forgive. We didn’t ask, listen or answer those scary questions truthfully.
Honestly, we didn’t try.

I think about you all the time now. I have nigtmares. I even have some suppressed memories – of us being happy – that come up more and more nowadays. It’s hard going through this. And knowing what I don’t have, and won’t ever have again, with you.

I’m sorry it didn’t work out. I’m sorry I didn’t give you what you needed or that I wasn’t what you wanted. I’m sorry we didn’t try.
I love you and will always love you. I hope you’re doing well, and that you’ve overcome all those obstacles you had in life. I hope you find someone who brings you those things that you need and want.

Love,

Ruben

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Week 17: A Lot to Learn from the Youngsters

This week has flown by and yet been such a torturous process of recovery.

Let me rewind, I had felt great the Monday after the Giordano audition. So great that I thought, “hey, maybe I can go back to my normal schedule!” Unfortunately, I was not good enough. I was able to take ballet and contemporary on Monday. I was fine, yes! Tuesday I had Pilates, ballet and during Victors class I felt it again.. Shhhhhh&$!?!?&$$!!!!!!! I couldn’t believe that; halfway through class I was done – AGAIN!

Wednesday I had ballet and attempted Kristina’s class. I got quite far, but again, had to stop. Let me tell you what the WORST feeling in the world is for a dancer: when one teeny tiny body part is injured and the rest of your body suffers in dance. Even more so is when you gotta sit out and watch everyone else dance. It’s more painful than anything else!

For the rest of the week, I just took ballet. Except Friday where I took two Pilates classes.

I have also begun my work for DanceChance. Even though I’m an alternate I need to be ready, just in case. I’ve been rehearsing a duet with Kayla. It’s so amazing to choreograph again. This time, I’m able to explore more and dive deep into an idea. I alps noticed an evolution in my choreography, I’m quite pleased. 🙂

Saturday I did… Nothing. I rested all day in bed. Best. Day. Ever.

Today I just had an 8am shoot for my first arabesque pic. Then I came straight to the Hubbard Street Intensive audition. I had to do a shoot with the little kids. Oh my, these kids had “fierce” painted on their faces and daggers in their eyes, at first, before it started. At least, that’s probably the way I perceived them because I was so nervous of being the “old dude”. Eventually, everyone calmed down and ballet class started. The room, packed. The temperature, humid. The class, informative.

Honestly, I learned a lot in this class. Obviously, the basics that Glenn always stresses, except that I was able to hone into these corrections because it was a basics/fundamentals focused class for the kids. You can learn so much from watching the youth. I loved the information I gathered and applied.

The rep portion of the audition was from “One Thousand Pieces”. Aghhhhhhhhhhh, so fun! 🙂 again, I learned a lot by watching these kids do the repertoire. Things I liked, things that didn’t fit my body, etc.

Overall it was a great experience. Gotta go to work. Gonna take it easy this week.

Auditions, yep, that time now.

Week 16: Mr. Conte & First Chicago Audition

So this week I have been ATTEMPTING to recover from a pulled groin/abductor. To do so, I have only been able to take one ballet class per day. That’s it. It has been quite difficult to watch everyone dance and be able to do more than myself; especially when I feel less and less fit each day because of this “resting” and “recovering” period. I did take Pilates on Tuesday and Friday, but both attempts were quite difficult and I didn’t manage to do it well.

I tried to make the most of my spare time this week by building Mrs. Claire’s elliptical machine. Its a bit shaky (I think because the materials are so light and it was on SUPER discount off groupon), but she runs smoothly otherwise, if I do say so myself. 😉

This weekend has proven to be the BUSIEST weekend that I’ve had so far.

  • Friday: I attended DanceChance! Unfortunately, I didn’t participate (there was a mix-up), but it was a really FUN event to attend. If anyone is in Chicago – this event takes place on the last Friday of every month at Lou Conte Dance Studio at 7pm. It was a really fun event. Basically, every month, 3 choreographers are chosen – at random – and an alternate. These choreographers must find ways to gather dancers, rehearsal times, space, and create a work no more than 15 minutes; and they only have a month to do so. It is very interesting the works that were brought. They were so good and so fun! I highly suggest this event to those in the area. Best of all – its only $3!! And better yet, you actually get a Q&A with the choreographers afterwards. (In case you didn’t understand it, or you want to know more!)
  • Saturday: I had rehearsals with my friend Becky (a workstudy) for her church’s event: The Stronger Series. I also took basic jazz with Mrs. Shannon (which I highly recommend, it was VERY fun!). I scrambled to get a haircut + print out my headshot for today. Lastly, I got to meet Mr. Lou Conte himself! I worked the 40th anniversary party and got to hear all of his amazing stories and insight. What a wonderful event it was.
  • Sunday: I had my first Chicago audition: Giordano Dance!

The Giordano audition was quite a challenge, especially since I’m no jazz dancer! The audition, for me and a few other scholarship students, started with the class (optional) to get warmed up and into their style, then the real audition began. Ballet center was the first cut, basically some pirouettes and jumps. Made it, cool. Then we learned a phrase from their rep choreographed by Koresh, which was quite cool. Got through, phew! Next we learned a work, Jolt, which was super fast. At this point, it was just Marissa (another scholarship student) and I. I really had to pee, quite badly. But we both did Jolt. We were learning a salsa-ish piece when we were both cut. I was so proud of myself for making it that far in the audition!! It was very fun, but I’m a bit happy that I got cut. I don’t think I quite fit in with their style of movement. Not that I wanted to get cut, because a contract is a contract, but I know there were a lot of people who REALLY set their minds/lives on it and have worked in their style through classes and workshops that probably deserved it more. So in that sense, I’m happy for those who made it! 🙂

One bitter thing I realized is that auditions are expensive!

 3.99 – headshot. 

   0.50 – resume + references (although, Federica – yet another scholarship student – was nice enough to print mine out!)

   15.00 – optional warm up class

+ 10.00 – audition fee

~40.00 for one audition. That kinda stinks. But I guess that’s life. Well, it was fun today but now I’m quite exhausted. I’m so ready for all of the other auditions yet to come! Stay tuned.