Sunday, November 16, 2008


For what must have been my tenth birthday, my sister Christie bought me a ticket to the high school play she was performing in - A Midsummer's Night Dream. I sat there, with the lights low, transformed into a world of Shakespeare and romance, and felt a tingling, overwhelming, thrill spread through my body.

The Arts. I was bitten.

My soul lived for that thrill from then on. It would consume me while watching a touring ballroom team or a fellow dancer performing. And I felt it while performing myself. Backstage at a recital or competition, I reveled in the excitement awaiting me onstage. The lights, the hushed voices before the music began, and the experience I was about to have, collectively, with the audience.

Whether I felt it as a performer or an audience member, the thrill always lifted me, carried me to great heights, but then inevitably left me again, feeling somewhat lonely. A lonely girl in a small town, surrounded by people interested in other things, with maybe three chances a year to get those good-goosebumps.

Three chances a year is actually pretty good for a town like Blythe, but still not enough for someone so bitten.

Even though I left that town almost 10 years ago and had many opportunities to immerse myself in The Arts in college, I still remember other little girls like that lonely one, who would come up to me after dance recitals or play performances with starry eyes. I could tell that they felt the thrill, that they hungered for it, and couldn't find it often enough.

Which is why So You Think You Can Dance means so much to me. True Art, every week, straight through your television. Terms like "beautiful lines" and "Contemporary Dance" are now known and used by the mainstream public.

And starry-eyed girls everywhere feel a lot less lonely for it.


ray and brandie said...

I was never quiete the ballerina that you were, but I have that same feeling within. I love a good musical and still feel myself dancing within. Ray thinks I am crazy for making him watch all the dace movies and trying to drag him to plays!

Olivia Carter said...

Awesome picture of you- & I'm glad you had fun- looks like a blast & good seats!

Audra and Levi said...

Was that the picture you took while I was running to the car to find the ID I thought I misplaced after forgetting the tickets? It turned out great!

I am that person too! Especially with anything that involves music expression, which SYTYCD has wonderful music with the expression of dance behind it! I wish I oculd dance so I can express what I feel in the music some way! When I go to music concerts, it just fills me! So, in the car I am a rock star and sing my heart out, but unfortunately I have no outlet for it! Though one of my favorite life moments is when I was performing with Nolan in a talent show and I asked him to say who his favorite singer was before we started and I was expecting him to say "Perry Como" and he just smiled and said "Mom!" I am my son's rock star :)!

TJ Dick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kari said...

Oh, I so remember those long, dry years of Blythe, thirsty for culture and to be with people who appreciated it! Do you remember how we used to say that all we wanted in life was guys, culture, and guys who appreciated culture? And how we cultivated crushes on certain visiting ballroom dancers for years after seeing them once? Remember Parker Smith, the dreamboat from Yuma who could dance and sing?

And now that we're adults, the bug is still biting. SLC is a dream come true for this small-town girl. TJ will have to drag me kicking and screaming from this place!

Linda, Mom and Granny said...

Yep, me too.