Monday, September 17, 2007

Dancer Story

Here is the story of the Ballet Dancer from Russia.

She was in the USA on temporary contract. I met her at a reception after a ballet performance. After the initial introductory discussion, we talked at length about
the rewards and challenge, similarities and differences of performing
here in the US vs Russia. After several minutes I asked her if she had
to prepare herself differently for performance given the change of not
only stage but country, etc.

She flushed and looked away. Her eyes teared up.

I quickly redirected the conversation (she was relieved by the look on her face. So was I !)

Later she approached me and commented that no one had ever asked her about
her time before performance. She apologized for tearing up and 'being difficult.'

She explained that the time just prior to every performance was very very
difficult. In her words "I am terrified every time I dance on stage.") My seemingly simple question had penetrated a very private painful period of time.

She had the status of principle dancer in Russia and was guest dancing here.

She was terrified of performing, absolutely terrified. And no one knew because they only saw her performances, which were amazingly beautiful.

I said that perhaps she could get some help for that. She
was surprised that one could even get help for such a thing. To be
honest, I had never worked with a dancer, but I thought, I have helped
others feel better, so at least let her know that she can 'get help.'

I gave her my card and told her if she wanted to talk further to call me.

One week later she called.

To be continued .. I am sorry. It is a little longer than I thought. After my work today I will finish.

Just this part of the story was "hard for her." :)

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