The last semester of the program was really difficult. I eventually recovered from my calf tear which was a relief. The workload was high but the pressure (self imposed?) was extreme. The inevitable departure from the safety of the program which was an incredibly positive, mind expanding, experience was coming to an end. Terry Crawfords’ aunt and uncle, Donna and Wayne Blosky were two key people in my success at Grant MacEwan. Their kindness, generosity and support important to me making it through my couple years in Edmonton. Donna would take me out and we would go watch Kris Craig play at the Commercial….in the dead of winter. Wonderful people.
My self confidence was still shaky. Many men start dancing late and most are not nearly as technically strong as their female counterparts. There seems to be more work opportunity for male dancers because there aren’t nearly as many of them. This was spoken about by my classmates and because I didn’t have the technical base that they did I had a feeling of unworthiness. I would struggle with learning and flounder…still!
Towards the end of the year I didn’t even want to be watched by the first year students as I felt like I was being judged. I was a mess and caused problems with the first year male student. Luckily the campus councilor, Bob, was a glorious human being and helped me through.
One of our final assignments was a choreography piece and I was lucky enough to have 4 very strong dancers in mine. I also got the help from 6 musician friends of mine to play percussion. The dancers were/are awesome and the live music really took it to the next level. The piece was called Final Quartet and in writing this blog post I watched it and laughed at how I pushed them. Jodi, Krista, Nicole and Karen did a fantastic job and I am still grateful.
The end of year came and I graduated. The ceremony was at the big campus and we were a small group of dancers to receive our diplomas with all the business students etc. When I got mine I did a back tuck. It got a reaction and then it played on the campus promotions for a while after. Quite funny.
I got a contract with the Brian Webb Dance Company to back up Tom Jackson at an awards event in Edmonton. Tom Jackson is a very nice man. It was a really fun gig. Brian is not normally hired to do backup as that is more of the realm of commercial work but he did great. So did Jamie Viveros, Karin, Jodi and myself.
He also contracted me for the Emerging choreographers show in the fall. I stayed in Edmonton and hired Krista and Jamie to dance with me. My choreography is inherently very physical and we were all battered and bruised. It was a really fun piece, Three, Trio, Trois. I wasn’t brave enough to watch myself dance before but now I can appreciate the effort. I made many choices that I like.
It is really nice to reconnect with this very important redirection of my life. I am very lucky to have had the courage (or naivety) to have chased my dream…It has worked out fantastic.