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 🙂