Being a dancer is difficult in the sense that we are taught from the start of our training to be highly self-critical. Most successful dancers are the ones who are very tough on themselves because they strive to be better all the time. Unfortunately, it is rare to have an exceptional performance, so it is important to learn how to balance those critical thoughts with an understanding of your overall worth. I wish that I could say that I did the best I had ever done in that show, but that wouldn’t be true (at least from a technical standpoint). What is true is that I tried my absolute best and still had a meaningful impact on the storyline without any technical disasters and still some moments of technical success.
It happened! The big show for the Verbers happened! None of us fell or missed entrances or had any close calls on stage (some of us are beginning to notice some digestive effects of Cuban bacteria), so that’s great news!🙌 Antonio played the title role of Yarini and danced the best I have ever seen him do the role. Christina was stunning as “Petit Berthe” and Michael was a technical force in his role as “Letot”. There were definitely some moments that I wish could have gone better for my performance of “Dame del Velo”, but overall I was happy with how things went given all of the changes. I couldn’t see much of Lieneke’s performance of a Prostitute, Natha’s performance in the “Burguesía” scene, Omar’s performance of the Policeman, Kelly’s performance as a Can-Can girl or Lexy’s performance as the “Nana”, but everything I did catch was well executed oozed with character.
I am incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to be coached by and perform this role for Laura Alonso (and her son Ivan, the choreographer). The Cuban style demands a powerful story, but also values virtuoso. This process taught me to push myself to try technical feats that I considered myself incapable of previously and showed me how much I could grow from working in that direction. It reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from “Mary Poppins” the musical, “If you reach for the stars all you get are the stars, but we’ve got a whole new spin: If you reach for the heavens, you get the stars thrown in!” Not every performance will be heavenly per se, but most will be sparkling with a lot more stars from setting your sights high.
All of the Verb dancers are still pinching ourselves that tonight just happened. You never know what is going to come your way in life if you keep pushing for what you love. I am thankful for every day I can do that!