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Saturday, 23 May 2015 09:31

#DanceinNYC - Experiencing Dance the NYC Way!

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It is 7:53 am and I've been up since 7 so excited and still full of energy from last night!! But before I go into detail about last night...let's start at the beginning.  Last year, Mel Wathen gave me a call from NYC Ballet and invited us to go see a show.  I thought...why not?  So I contacted some of my favorite studio owners and asked if they'd like to go to NYC together to go see NYC Ballet, take some classes, and just explore the city.  Fast forward to this pass Thursday and 11 of us from Royal Expressions piled into 2 vans at 11:15 pm then picked up 9 more from Graceful Expressions Dance Education Center in Cary, NC and left at 1 am to head for NYC!!!!


I had the pleasure (sense my sarcasm?) of driving into the city and as soon as we got out of the Lincoln Tunnell, honk, honk!  The music of NYC!  We found our hotel very easily, but tried to park our all too big van in the unload zone unsuccessfully, so we had to circle the block to get back to the hotel and go on and park the vans in the parking garage.  Well an hour later we circled the block!  lol!


Once we got to the hotel our fingers were crossed that our rooms would be ready, but only 1 room was ready.  So all 19 of us hung out in our one room until the other rooms became available.  We all got our metro passes, ate some food, the younger kids took showers, and we just kind of killed time until we met up in the lobby at about 4 pm.


We got very simple instructions for how to get to the Lincoln Center area.  We're in a great spot here.  Our hotel is right by Penn Station!  So we head up to the subway and we all get on a train...in the wrong direction! LOL!  We get off and get back on and find our way to Lincoln Center and WOW!  Absolutely beautiful!  Seeing the giant poster of dancers and NYC Ballet Koch Theatre and the Met Opera for ABT from one view was just mesmerizing.  There was also a beautiful fountain right in the middle of the plaza.  We immediately went into tourist mode and took out our phones and took pictures to capture all of it the best we could!  It was so exciting!!! 


After we took some pictures and got a bite to eat, we finally met up with Mel Wathen in the beautiful Kock Theatre lobby, who had just been so supportive and helpful in getting us to NYC.  To my shock, she was much more...let's say uh, seasoned, then I had expected.  She has such a great personality and I discovered she came to the big city from Texas - that southern hospitality never left her!!!


Mel introduced us to Faye Arthurs, a soloist for New York City Ballet and she gave us backstage tour of the theatre and WOW - it's so beautiful!  The architecture of the the theatre is to feel like your sitting in a jewelry box and the dancers on stage are the ballerina inside.  After our tour we stood on the balcony of the Koch theatre and looked out over the plaza.  It was very relaxing.


We went on inside and took our awesome seats Mel got for us in the orchestra and watched a spectacular show by the NYC Ballet dancers.  They did a classical ballet piece that was very complicated and fast, then a romantic neo-classical piece that I even saw some elements of Martha Graham technique in, and finally a musical theatre piece.  I think the most amazing thing about the show as that they had recasted 5 people just hours before the show due to injury. 


My thoughts from day 1...it is amazing the energy and work ballerinas and ballet danseurs put into their bodies, but it is even more amazing how they can learn things so quickly and retain so much information in such a short span of time for stellar performances.  Could you imagine your boss coming into your office and saying they need a detailed analysis from you in 2 hours and you will present it to 2500 people?  How many of us would gracefully accept that challenge without freaking out?  Not many, but that is what professional dancers do - they are always ready and willing to take on the next challenge.  They are passionate about their profession and give their all.


Well, time to get on with our day: A Chorus Line master class, Alvin Ailey, and exploration...we're all bummed that the Dance Theatre of Harlem is not offering anymore classes until this fall...

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