I’m not sure why N*Sync popped into my head this morning while pondering titles of this post… In case you aren’t sure what song I’m referencing, here you go.
Please forgive my recent absence! I was busy enjoying the end of my vacation and getting back into the swing of things at work. In my usual fashion, I spent the last month of my vacation traveling. The first week of March, I flew to San Juan to spend another week cruising with my beau. We were mixing business with pleasure, as we were going to attack some paperwork to enable him to transfer to my next ship. Although we were unsuccessful, I had an amazing week, and was sad to leave.
My next jaunt was back to Virginia. I spent some time with my sister and brother in law, had a lovely father-daughter date at Trump Winery, and enjoyed a delicious family dinner at Fleurie to celebrates my dad’s birthday. It was wonderful to have some family time before going back to work.
After a quick, 2-day turnaround in Texas, I flew to Miami for rehearsals. Even though this is my third rehearsal period, there have been new things to get used to. For starters, we have new studios. They are large and beautiful, but the space is so expansive that you can go days without running into friends from other casts. The living arrangements are also different. The apartments are more like dorms, and instead of 6 people sharing a suite, it’s only 3 or 4. Since this cast is larger than my previous two (12 dancers, 2 ballroom dancers, and 6 singers), the division at “home” has made it more difficult to bond as a group. Luckily, the cast is great. I get along well with everyone at the studio, and have two awesome girls as suite mates.
Eager to spend time together outside of work, 12 of us piled into cars last Sunday to enjoy a day off at the beach. We drove down to South Beach, spent nearly 30 minutes searching for parking, then hit the sand. A few of us were hungry, so we almost immediately set off in search of food. Options were scarce, and so we asked a hotel doorman if they had a restaurant. While we were chatting, a front desk employee came up and offered to escort us to the restaurant by the pool, and gave us a tour on the way. We were also invited to take a complimentary piece of fruit from the lobby. The pool was gorgeous, so after our meal at the Sandbox, we grabbed a few lounge chairs and set up camp. We were able to spot our other friends from our chairs overlooking the beach, and we all eventually convened at the hotel. It was a blissful day, full of sun and fun.
Although I usually spend my evenings making dinner at home, I’ve had two great dinners out. The first Saturday, I went to the Cheesecake Factory with two dancers from my first contract. It was wonderful to hear about their experiences since we last worked together and to reminisce on old times. This past Saturday, I was one of six members of my new cast to hit up Burger and Beer Joint. I ate more than anyone should ever consume in one sitting, but I had a fantastic time. We were laughing like hyenas for most of the meal, and while I felt bad for the diners around us, I was happy thinking that I get to spend the next 7 months with these people.
I maintain a “work hard, play hard” lifestyle, so in the midst of all this fun, I have actually been quite busy. Every weekday morning, I’ve been going to conditioning at 9am. Conditioning starts with running 5 laps around the building, and then we do a series of sit-ups, push ups, and planks. Next, we do wheelbarrows and handstand pushups before pulling out mats and doing some aerial work. I started with climbing a rope and doing shoulder shrugs with my hands in loops, and am now working on bluebirds and “skin the cat”. Since starting this routine, my body has been sore in ways I didn’t know were possible.
After conditioning, we have a short break to stretch and prepare for rehearsal. In two weeks, we have nearly finished our first of three production shows. This one has a fairy tale theme, and is packed with great music and fun dancing. Some sections are mostly character driven, while others are technically demanding. It’s a great show, and I’m looking forward to putting it on stage. We rehearse for about 7 hours a day, 6 days a week, so there has been a lot of information thrown at us already!
In addition to the usual demands on a dancer, I took on some extra work in order to apply for Dance Captain. Candidates must shadow all rehearsals, even those involving just singers, and take notes on blocking and choreography. In order to watch rehearsals, lunch breaks were cut short and days ran longer. 6 dancers applied, so the staff had a large, talented pool to choose from. We had interviews at the end of the second week, and while I didn’t get the position, I’m glad I went through the experience. I hope to have better luck in the future.
Today, I’m relaxing. While drinking mass amounts of coffee, I’ve spoken with my sister, and hope later to speak with my parents and my boy. The sun is shining, so I intend to take a walk and get some fresh air this afternoon. Next week, we will finish the fairy tale show and start working on a ballroom show, so I need my brain and body to be prepared! Contract 3 is off to a great start, and I’m excited to see what the next few months will bring!