So, yes. The recital on Sunday was my last ballet performance. It's bittersweet...I'm definitely ready to move on, but at the same it's very hard, since it's been such a huge part of my life for three and a half years now. And when you dance, it really becomes a part of your identity...it's going to be such a change to not be "Ivy who does ballet" anymore.
But, it had to be done. It was getting way too expensive (especially since my sister is in it too), it took a lot of time (I was busy almost every night of the week, and most of the weekend as well), I just wasn't enjoying it as much as I used to, it was getting very stressful and I'll have enough stress soon as it is (more on that in a bit!), and it was getting hard because of my physical issues (asthma, and tendinitis in my ankle and knee). I guess this is another growing-up experience...prioritizing. I'm so thankful that God has let me see that ballet would just be a hindrance to what I really want and need to do, and He even helped to not love it as much as I used to! In the past, I knew I should probably give up ballet, but I felt like I just couldn't. Now, though, even though it makes me sad, I know with my mind that I should give it up, and I'm at peace with that.
Something that I've realized in the past few weeks, however, is that it's not so much dancing that I love, but performing. I love being in front of an audience, telling a story, and it doesn't really matter if it's through speaking, singing, or dancing. Telling a story is the part that really matters, and I guess it's an intrinsic part of my personality, seeing as my main passion is writing. That really hit me when we were performing the skit at the reception for Msgr. Wach a week ago. About halfway through one of my very long lines, I realized, "I love doing this! And I'm getting almost as excited about this, a short little skit that's not even on a stage, as I do about ballet performances!" That was when it really hit me that the part I love about performing is telling the story, and that realization was strengthened when I noticed I wasn't particularly excited about the recital, mainly because the dances were just simply dancing. They weren't trying to communicate anything other than looking nice.
So, I'm not entirely disconsolate. I know that there will be other stages, other places for me to share a story with the world. The main things I'll miss about ballet are doing grand jetes (they are my specialty!), turns across the floor, especially pique turns (they used to be my nemesis, but I finally caught on and began to adore them, especially on pointe), and doing pique arabesque (which is just fun). I'll miss being on pointe...I always loved it, even when it just about killed my feet. And I'll always be sad I never did learn how to do fouette turns! I can sort of do them on pointe, but I never did get very good.
However, I won't miss the pain, the sweat, and the smell of sweat-logged ballet shoes. haha
So that was one of the "announcements". The other one is that I am definitely going to apply at Christendom College this fall! After a lot of thought, research, and prayer, my parents and I both agree that Christendom seems like it would be a great fit for me, and I really think that is where God wants me after high school. However, that's also where the added stress will come in! Three little letters... S. A. T. *dies* Now, the English section looks absolutely mindlessly easy and even fun, but the MATH?!? Oh my goodness...that's what I'll be doing much of the rest of the summer. We do know someone, though, who might be able to tutor me, which would be a lifesaver.
This summer looks like it's going to be pretty quiet...not much planned aside from working on math and going to girls' camp in early August, but that could change in the twinkling of a eye, and probably will. ;) But that's fine with me. In the fall, I'll really get cracking on my schoolbooks, and take six weeks of swimming lessons. I'm also thinking about taking tap. It's a dance form that I've always thought looked like a ton of fun, and now I would have time and money to try it! I'd also really like to/need to get a job this summer or fall, but we'll see how that goes.