September. A chance at new beginnings. Summer fades away and kids go back to school. A new season starts and new cramps seep into old muscles. New creations, new headshots and new challenges. Returning to work after summer layoff is always a shock to the system. Nothing can prepare you for 6 hours of dancing on pointe, except for 6 hours of dancing on pointe. Each year I somehow think that returning to work will get easier. That experience and repetition will make my body more limber, and more willing to contort into ridiculous positions. Maybe the eclipse will mutate solar energies into making me more flexible, or maybe global warming will melt my muscles until I look like Sylvie Guillem. But alas, all the eclipse did was reinforce that our President is the type of person who stares into the sun while virtually everyone around him tells him not to. Each passing September means I’m one year old older. Each promotion in rank means the repertoire gets a little harder. But with each obstacle comes another chance to overcome and grow (hopefully).

While rehearsing Serenade the first few weeks back at work, a thought occurred to me. How was it possible that I had not even the slightest clue, that one of my top bucket list ballets was so amazingly difficult? Having never done it before, it further proved the amazing feats that ballerinas hurdle by performing the most technically difficult steps with such beauty and ease. Our rehearsals are being coached by the amazing and legendary Maria Calegari. One day in rehearsal, one particular day that I was really dying of soreness and “getting back in shapedness”, she told me, “Don’t smile Gabrielle. Just dance.”  I was trying to smile through the struggle, also probably the nerves of dancing for her, and she served me with some realness. Even on the hard days, on the September days that are darkened with awul weather and politics and fatigue, we don’t have to smile but we will make it through….my pointe exactly.