It all began on a Sunday morning. Dad was watching the news, Sister was playing with her dolls, Mom was reading the Sunday newspaper, and I…well, I was begging my mom to stop reading, get up and pour me a bowl of cheerios. (I was a lovely child)…but I thank God every day that she never did make me my breakfast because on that particular morning there happened to be an article in the newspaper for an audition.
‘Briansky Saratoga Ballet Center Holds Audition in Bethlehem, PA’
That article became the topic of family discussion for the morning and before I knew it, two weeks later we were driving to Bethlehem so I could audition for the Briansky Saratoga Ballet Center which was to be held over the summer at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York.
*Now keep in mind, I had been dancing since the mere age of three. I was a very attentive student, good for my age, and pretty much thought I knew all there had to be known about ballet by the age of ten, but wow was I wrong.
When we arrived in Bethlehem, the first thing I remember doing was shuffling into this unfamiliar, very pink dance studio. The room was overwhelmingly huge and I am not sure what had possessed me to do so, but I decided to sit down right in the center of the room to stretch before class began. I wasn’t nervous…that was until I looked through the mirror and saw the other girls who were taking the audition class too. I looked at them, and I looked back at myself. I looked at them again and that is the first time I can recall thinking, “I am nowhere near good enough”. Their legs were stretched behind their heads, their noses were touching their knees. As I sat there, in the middle of the floor, in my incredibly awkward butterfly position, I glanced over at my family who was crouched in the doorway. I laugh thinking about it now, but I had never seen such frightened faces in my life. They were thinking the same thing too. “Nowhere near good enough”.
I do not remember much of the actual audition class. Although, what I do remember is what happened when the class ended. My mom had gone up to one of the two instructors. She had asked her timidly, “Well, how did my daughter do?” and the Russian woman responded, “Oh, she’s weak, but we’ll take her”. And that was it. I had successfully completed my first ballet audition and was accepted into my first ballet summer intensive.
I attended the Briansky Saratoga Ballet Center in 2007 and 2008. It was after my first summer there that I had realized dancing was going to be a major factor in my life, and I decided to pursue a professional career in ballet.
I would like to thank Oleg Briansky and Mireille Briane for introducing me to the classical Vaganova method of ballet for they are the sole reason I fell completely in love with ballet. I would also like to thank my family for encouraging me to audition and for continually supporting my dream.