As part of my commenting this morning, I saw a Slice about a secret revealed. That triggered thoughts about things most people did not know about me. It’s like that game, Two Truths and a Lie. When I play this game, I always reveal that I was in The Nutcracker when I was in 5th grade with Ballet West. The part that makes that a bit interesting is that even though I sported long, brown curls and a slightly girlish figure, my named appeared on the cast list as Party Boy.
Now those of you familiar with the ballet know that the party scene is such fun! And since training came from a small studio in a small town, the fact that I had been chosen for any role was considered a great compliment. But I was playing a boy! Playing a boy next to those charming young ladies, dressed in layers of ruffles, slips, petticoats, and ribboned balled shoes. Their long ringlets were topped with velvet bows. And there I was in my brown suit, ruffled collar and sleeves, and a slip of a tie. The black shoes shot out from beneath the knickers and white tights. My curls were wrangled into a tight bun and hairnet, hidden under an itchy cap.
And the dancing differed as well. While the girls twirled and curtsied, swaying their baby dolls to the lulling strands of Tchaikovsky, the “male” choreography showcased our ability to briskly march, bow at the waist, and toot a plastic horn.
How I envied those fellow female ballerinas as we doggedly learned and rehearsed the beloved choreography. When opening night arrived, all the party families gathered behind the scrim, anticipating our entrance that would herald the beginning of the performance. And at that moment, ballet magic struck. It didn’t matter what I was wearing or what steps I was performing…I was a dancer!