If you haven't noticed, Stow, Ohio is not New York or LA or Chicago. But, there is a lot of access to the arts in this area. In fact, within 30 minutes we have Playhouse Square and Severance Hall in Cleveland, Blossom Music Center in Peninsula, and the Civic Theater in Akron. Not to mention all the colleges and universities in the same radius. There is a lot of exposure to music, dance, and theater - from local, state, and national performers. For Grace, each winter since she was 3 years old, we have gone to the Akron Civic Theater to see the Nutcracker. And, many springs, we have attended ballet performances such as the Wizard of Oz and Cinderella. So, it was a real dream come true when she auditioned this spring and was offered a place in the Ballet Theatre of Ohio's performing company. This means she is going to be dancing at the historic Civic Theater in a show she has seen 7 times!
As part of her commitment to the company, Grace participated in summer intensive classes. She loved every minute and was sorry to see those classes end just as she was starting to form bonds with the other dancers.
After not dancing for almost a month, Grace was reunited with the other dancers today at the annual BTO family picnic. It was held at Crystal Lake, a private lake with a beach and pavilions for picnics.
There are 35 dancers in the company (2 boys!) this year. The new BTO company members were introduced and each one received a fleece jacket with the logo and their name embroidered on it. It is a big honor and the young dancers seemed very proud.
It was fun to listen to the older dancers when they told stories of getting their jacket and how big it was on them...but now it fits! I guess these "newbies" also have big shoes to fill!
After lunch the kids swam, jumped off the diving board, built sand castles, and ran around. The parents also had an opportunity to chat and get to know each other. I am a little overwhelmed with the expectations for volunteer and rehearsal time, but everyone assured me we will get through what the next year has to bring and by this time next year we will feel more comfortable and confident.