Tuesday, April 28, 2009
This weekend, my best friend, Jill and I attended the 30th Anniversary Repertoire of the Ballet Theatre of Maryland (formerly Ballet Theatre of Annapolis, BTA.) Jill and I took ballet lessons with BTA from the age of 6 until we were in high school. We took classes 5 to 6 times per week and spent many many hours roaming the studios and art spaces in Maryland Hall. We danced a different role every year in the Nutcracker from mice to soldiers in the battle scene to sweets and gingerbread men in the land of sweets. I played Grumpy and Jill played Doc in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. We were dolls come to life, flowers, snowflakes, fairies and much more. We had several different teachers and many company ballerinas to idolize all through our childhood and preteen years. Neither Jill nor I ever joined the company, but I’m sure I speak for both of us when I say that we are alumni of this great organization. I have many memories of the former artistic director and founder, Edward Stuart. He rehearsed us in every ballet from the time we were 6. I remember when he dropped cigarette ashes on one of our fellow dancers when you used to be able to smoke in the studio. I’ve never seen him so embarrassed and can’t think of how crazy a parent in today’s time would react to this. At that time, as long as no one was hurt, no big deal. He treated us like professionals even as children and made us all excited about his ballets. I remember fondly my ballerina years and was happy to see all the staff who supported each performance year after year, ballerinas that I wanted to be when I grew up, grown up themselves with families and real world jobs and dancers that I idolized looking pretty much the same with a few grey hairs. It was a nice night to reminisce and enjoy some local ballet.