What have I become ?

When i first started writing this post Facebook has been reminding me of The Ballet Retreat as the August Bank Holiday weekend is the high spot of the TBR year, the three day retreat at Northern Ballet in Leeds. 

Why is the August TBR the high spot of the year for the #TBRFamily ?

- It's 3 days
- We usually have the entire Northern Ballet Building to ourselves 
- It's been when there are planned guest teachers 

but this isn't a post about TBR and how fabulous it is... Other than it's pretty needless to say I'm missing you all #TBFamily.

This post is called 'What have I become?' and that is what it is about 
people, their identity and interests evolve over time. 

I'm me, I'm Nicola even though it took a while to realise that is who I am, and that is NOT changing.  

TBR does a part to play in the journey of what have I become ... the first TBR i attended was August 2017, still hiding behind *that* mask, which was fairly clearly  slipping by then, to the point that now quite a few of the #TBRFamily swear blind that Nicola was there. 

Interestingly this isn't about identity in that sense though, more about identity as a Dancer,  while I started to scratch the ballet itch at the back end of 2016, at that point it was one class a week, I'd no idea of what my progress and level was like  compared to others / normal  beyond my classmates and I'd not really thought about or considered exams or what my eventual aims were. 

I came away from that first TBR  enthused by meeting a fabulous  bunch of people both the faculty and the other dancers and  with the advice  from David Kierce  in my  ears ' find another class , you'll progress so much quicker if you are dancing 2 or 3 times a week)   

It took me a little while to find that  second class with Lady Bay Ballet, then disaster! My original class  in Lincoln lost it's slot in the timetable  at the studios  due to  changing in teachers  - fortunately my  Ballet Buddies were   able to provider a more than acceptable alternative with Hype in Sheffield, which pre Lockdown had  extended to 3 classes on on Monday night- Pointe, Ballet and (to quote  another trans  ballerina friend) 'that rolling about on the floor guff'  aka  Contemporary (no names, no pack drill there)... then you know the rest I've written about it enough on here... 

Lockdown led  me to thinking, what actually was my aim with Ballet?  Until now my aims had all been relatively  simple, quick and  fairly straightforward ...   whether that was pirouettes, to perform in one piece in front of an audience, to  get properly over my box en pointe, to get away from the barre en point and so on and so forth... 

I'd briefly spoken with Christina before but her class timetable last year seemed to clash  either with work or with other classes I was taking.  then i saw she was  looking for dancers for production to take place new Summer, so i thought i'd drop her another message about that and that lead to a conversation  that started with what level was I dancing at currently and the topic of wanting to do Intermediate  exam came up and the had I considered adding a private to my  plans  , or even combining both of those ideas as well as continuing to take the  'free work' classes I was taking before  lock down struck and which were gearing up to re-start.

So not only  did i find myself signing up for another production  andperformance i fell down  the rabbit  hole even deeper, i'm not that dancer who  has a  textbook in her the ballet bag and little notebook which she scribbles  correctiosn and technique tips into  after class... 

The thing is ...  I wouldn't change this for the world 

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