This last couple of months, I have been reminding myself to breathe deeply as I've pushed myself to focus on the moments onstage with others, while also continuing to balance my life. Breathing deeply is a challenge for me- I like to to take tiny sips of a little bit of everything. But I've had many moments during the past couple of months that I'd like to savor more than I normally do. I'd like to remember what it felt like to improvise in the company of Kaleena Miller Dance onstage in a circle, or step onto the Southern Theater steps wearing a gold sequined sweater. I'd like to remember a smile breaking out on Peter O'Gorman's face as we found joy in our body percussion duet onstage in front of an audience, or the energy that the cast of Flying Foot Forum gave during our closing Can-Can number during French Twish. These are the moments we live for as artists, right? All too often they slip past us because we forget to take a moment to breathe deeply.
Opening and closing two different productions within the span of two months while working full-time has also meant making time for the occasional nap (also really bad at those), always having a snack handy (I often forget to pack them), and making sure to do things in the present that future self would be thankful for (like spending that extra 20 minutes before going to bed to roll out my calf and arch muscles). It's also meant becoming a bit of a procrastinator as I begin working on my own choreography for the Zenon Zone Summer Choreography Program, making plans for rehearsal in the couple of hours before they begin and having faith that the dancers will trust where I'm heading in rehearsal, even if I'm not sure where the end is myself (thanks, dancers, if you are reading this).
When I look back on June and July, I consistently see new iterations of myself, onstage, and offstage, and new versions of others I think I may know, but perhaps don't know all that well. These months have given me the gift of seeing new sides of people, acknowledging that I both know very little and perhaps more than I think I know, and also that I can do things I've never done before but also that I do have limits and need to respect them. That may seem like a lot- because it was a lot. It was insane and awesome, and I'm so grateful that I entered June and (almost) exited July with these reflections.
Remember to breathe deeply the next time that you find your life flashing by!