Friday, December 5, 2014

My First Dancing Job

Before I graduated from the National Ballet School I landed a dancing job. It was for the summer Canadian National Exhibition Show.

Having trained in a very sheltered environment, there I was with hundreds of other girls who could do so much more than I could.

They could jazz and tap. Some of them had already done dancing in tv commercials. I was so impressed!

And so intimidated.

But part of the requirements was pointe work. For a chorus line. That I could do.

I landed the job.

Then graduated from school.

The first day of rehearsals the choreographer (from New York), Midge addressed us with a bullhorn.

What I remember her saying last was "Don't sit around on the concrete. It's cold and you'll get hemorrhoids."

The football stadium was our rehearsal grounds. A mobile stage that sounded hollow (it was) suffered our learning curves. Natalia Butko was the Dance Captain. She was stellar.

The hardest number was in the pointe shoes. It was the first time I had ever worn Capezios. Rock hard compared to the Gambas I wore. Made to last!

The Pointe Number was a very tough Rockettes type of material.

While walking around on pointe, wearing huge Mountie Bear hats and full mini-pleated chiffon skirts that blew in the wind, we had to grab buttons on the skirts to raise them and create a black and white design for the audience.

Wind was a challenge with just a few counts to find those buttons! But the worst night was when it rained and there were puddles on stage.

One very cool thing was meeting other dancers from schools like Gladys Forrester's and Jacque Foesiers. They were so savvy I thought.

The other cool thing was that I got to join the union. Actor's Equity. At 17, I became a union man.

My roommate Anne Ditchburn was on tour with the NBOC and I lived alone for the summer. I went to Yorkville every night and sketched people. I filled a big sketchbook, a habit formed when Patricia Goss was my art teacher.

Patricia Goss "Totality"

What was your first dance job?
That's me in Earl Kraul's class at George Brown College. In the 80's. I was teaching there too.

Photo by Victor Ongingko, used with permission.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Quick Hello To All My Fellow Dancers And Readers!

I've been away from this blog for so long! Is it really May?

It is recital time for many of you, or your term has already ended, and you're getting ready for the I.N.T.E.N.S.E. ballet summer intensive!

I'm writing at a second job these days and haven't had time to focus on the big ballet world!

I'm so happy to see people are still dropping by this blog and hopefully it's helpful for those who need some technique tips!

So thanks for visiting and reading here!