New Company, New Place, New Beginnings

I have been in Utah dancing with Ballet West for exactly one week now. It feels great to be in a new environment with all new faces, personalities, choreography, and geography. Putting yourself in a completely new setting is always challenging and stressful, so I am trying to handle it the best I can and remain calm while focusing on the work I need to do here.

Salt Lake City, as many of you may know, is at a fairly high elevation. Some people warned me that it might be hard to adjust to the altitude but I didn’t realize just how much my body would react. When I first got here, I was getting tired a lot faster than back home in Chicago and NY and I felt like I couldn’t really connect with the floor during class and rehearsals. Staying hydrated and drinking enough water was hard even for me! (many of my friends refer to me as a camel)  I thought to myself, you practice Bikram, you should be able to handle this, but this adjustment was hard. Toward the end of the week, I began getting headaches. Finally, after a weekend of a lot of rest (I don’t think I have ever slept that much in my life) and a lot of hydration, I began to feel normal again.

Another major adjustment for me is being surrounded by mountains and more nature than usual. I love being outside and I love the outdoors, but I grew up near the ocean and big cities so this is definitely a change. Something I love about the east coast and Chicago is that I get to wake up every morning, walk out my front door and enjoy a view of water. Water for me is so calming to see and represents infinity, constant change, health, and living. At first when I moved here and saw all of the mountains, it felt enclosed. However, I do see the beauty in them as well.  A few of the dancers have said they will take me hiking. I think this will help me grow to love this new place I am in but I can’t guarantee I am going to be a great hiker or outdoorsman. 😉

On my first day of work at Ballet West, most of the dancers were very welcoming and introduced themselves to me. I was quite nervous because I didn’t really know anyone and had no clue what to expect and how things were run here. I had gotten so comfortable in my previous work environment and now have to learn a whole new system while at the same time learn a lot of new choreography and meet new people. Overall, it was a pretty stressful week. When you move to a new place, you want to make a good impression and at the same time be completely yourself and relaxed. I guess the best impression you can make is by just being yourself. Well, that is what I did and have been doing. I am focused on learning the choreography and getting ready for my first performances with Ballet West which will coincidentally be on tour in Chicago! 🙂

I feel happy and so thankful to be here. It is refreshing to be doing different choreography in a different environment with different artists. Ballet West is a great company with talented artists who truly care about their work. I am grateful for this time in My Year of New Beginnings 🙂

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5 thoughts on “New Company, New Place, New Beginnings

  1. Ballet West as in, Breaking Pointe’s Ballet West?? How awesome..!!! I would love to know how those dancers are in real life because it seems that drama plays a big role in the reality series surrounding Ballet West.

    Hope you can adjust to your new situation, you wouldn’t be hired there if they think you wouldn’t be able to excell!! 🙂

  2. Ballet West? As in Breaking Pointe’s Ballet West? How awesome! I always wonder how the dancers of that company are in ‘real life’, the series is sometimes so dramatized!

    Congrats on your new job! Don’t worry about adjusting, they wouldn’t have hired you if they didn’t think you would be up for the challenge!

  3. I recently discovered your blog, and I think it’s fantastic that you are dancing with Ballet West now!! That is such an incredible accomplishment; Ballet West is a wonderful company. I am a ballet dancer as well, though not professionally. I just take classes five times a week at a local studio, while also attending the local community college. It has always been my secret dream to dance professionally, but I know I don’t really have the talent necessary to make it in the ballet world:) Regardless, ballet is a huge part of my life, and I am excited to have found another dance-related blog to follow!

  4. Ah, the elevation. So difficult! The first time I took class out here, I legitimately fell over from being so dizzy and dehydrated. My friends and I always say… blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-altitude. 😉
    And being landlocked was really hard for me too. It still is. But it makes going home to the coast whenever I can even better.
    Glad you’re enjoying!!

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