Back to Eisteddfods

Today Kyah performed in the Gold Coast Eisteddfod. She has not performed in an eisteddfod since May 2, 2017. Back then,  at the end of May, just before her opening of BULWA, she tore the ligaments in her ankle. It has taken her this long to get back on track, on pointe and into some sort of “normality” again, with confidence and drive.

We have been taught by a number of dance teachers not to place too much emphasis on placing for eisteddfods; it is usually only one person’s opinion, it is determined by each persons’ performance on the day, and it is subjective. The teachers have encouraged Kyah to use eisteddfods to gain confidence and evaluate her performance and see where she can improve on each dance. Each person performing has a different journey and intent from performing. Kyah’s main goal is for longevity and to improve in all aspects with every performance, unlike others who have the desire to win all eisteddfods. That is totally fine for them, but it is not Kyah’s intent. Today was a “get back on stage and see how you feel”. It is pretty sad when others try to intimidate and mock dancers to put them off. Why can’t they encourage and compliment… Oh well, at least it is making Kyah more resilient.

Here is a photo of Kyah in her classical today.

Kyah has been very time poor the last few weeks. This third term of school has been extremely busy. Just so much work for school – reading, research, assignments, prepping for assessments. Then add her dance commitments on top. It will continue like this for at least another 2 months. I try to ensure she has some time “off” on the weekends. So far, she has been able to catch up with friends at least one day on most weekends this term. The current entertainment fad for the girls is the theme parks – such a great option for them, especially when it’s not school holidays and they don’t have to take on the crowds.

 

Here is a photo of Kyah doing her contemporary dance today. Looking at Kyah’s feet you would never know she had an injury so horrific as what she did, almost 1 year ago!! Gosh, time has flown.

With all my knowledge of strength training, exercise, flexibility, biomechanics, and how the body works, I am still fascinated by how any dancer can get into so many positions, just lift their leg up beyond normal range, hold it for seconds at a time, gracefully point their toes, seemingly defy gravity, and make it look easy. Dancers are absolutely amazing. Their strength, flexibility, lithe-ness, agility…. basically athleticism is so underrated. The more I watch dancers, the more I am totally amazed at what some are capable of. I have worked with athletes of all levels for 30 years and I think dancers must be up there with the most impressive.

Eph 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Lots Happening

There’s been so much happening in our lives. As usual, we have been very busy. School is keeping Kyah occupied, and she has lots of dance commitments, as well as an outside course she is undertaking which is extremely intensive. Then trying to have a normal life as well – it all takes lots of time.

Queensland Ballet offer an “information evening” about a week before, on the performance that is upcoming.  Certain ticket holders are able to attend the free information evening, if they like, in order to find out more about the upcoming performance. I think this is a good idea to do for Kyah, so she has an awareness of what a dancer’s requirements may entail, as well as find out a bit more about the workings of a ballet company with regards to preparing for a production, and to know a bit more about the story behind the ballet itself.

We went to the information evening for La Fille mal gardée, because we had tickets to see the performance. The information evening was good. It gave us a bit of an overview as to what to expect for La Fille. We went up to Brisbane with a friend of ours Debra. That was lovely. Thanks for coming up with us Deb, it was great catching up with you. It was also good to hear a bit about the story behind La Fille mal gardée. It sounded very promising, a modern twist on a classic with lots of humour. After hearing about it we were very much looking forward to seeing the actual performance.

We went back up to Brisbane 4 days later to attend the Ballet Theatre Queensland (BTQ) 80th Anniversary. That was great. They had some costumes on display for people to see; 2 of which I have included here. There were  a variety of dance companies that helped celebrate the anniversary. We were very fortunate to see Queensland Ballet, Australian Ballet, Expressions Dance Company and BTQ  all perform. The evening was really good and inspired Kyah – she knew a number of the performers personally, from workshops she has participated in.

A couple of the costumes on display at the BTQ Gala Night

80 years and still going

 

We went up to Brisbane again yesterday to see La Fille mal gardée. It was fantastic. A modern ballet; very funny, light, beautiful dancing, great story line, great costumes, and on it goes. It was really good. If you have never seen a ballet before I suggest this is a great one to start with. There is humour, dancing, modern costumes – just very different from the traditional ballets. Both Kyah and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Congratulations to Queensland Ballet and Choreographer Marc Ribaud. Joel Woellner played a fantastic Widow Simone.

Kyah seems to have gone through a bit of a quiet time in her dancing where I think she just needed to do what she could do, without feeling any pressure. I think she has now realised it is time for her to decide if she is going to start taking dancing seriously, or just do it for fun. It has to be her decision and her wanting it, not me, or anyone else wanting it for her. It has to be her, and over the last few months, since she tore the ligaments in her foot, it has been tough for her psychologically. But praise God, I think she is now a lot more confident to dance en pointe, the journey she has had so far has helped to create a stronger, more determined person under that very soft, sweet exterior. The dance world is hard – you have to be so dedicated in every aspect of your life, and also very confident in yourself as to who you are and what you stand for. Kyah has really started achieving this on her journey. One negative comment by someone could deflate anyone’s self belief, but being in the dance word, these people seem to get a lot more critical comments regularly and they need to be much stronger than the average to let all those comments be just simply, water off a duck’s back. It is happening for Kyah. Yay!

Kyah has been busy with her dancing.  She is planning on doing her RAD exam in the next month or so. This exam, Kyah was ready to do this time last year. Unfortunatley, she injured her ankle 6 days before the exam.  So initially we decided to discontinue with RAD style of ballet and focus on Vaganova only, but it seems in Australia, RAD is the general guide for dance companies to see where a dancer is at in the progression for learning. Kyah has decided she needs to get to a certain level with RAD, so she is doing her exam soon. In order to prepare for this she has taken on another whole day of dance practice, and she has started seeing  Nika again – just once a week. So we are even more full-on than before.

I know this will sound very strange to most people, but really it has been a blessing that Kyah tore the ligaments in her foot, in May. With the initial injury, I had many people asking me how did I know Kyah’s ligaments were not permanently lengthened and therefore she may be left with a very unstable ankle. Well, this injury proved to me that her ligaments are all still intact, and they are not in a permanently lengthened position. The injury itself happened so simply, just a movement the wrong way when she was en pointe, the ligaments went. So if nothing else has come from this second injury, it is the fact that we know for certain her ligaments did not stretch, nor did they stay stretched. Her foot and ankle are completely healed to normal. What an absolute miracle in itself.

Last week I was having a coffee with Clare, one of Kyah’s dance teachers, and sitting at the next table was a face I recognised slightly. It was only the fact he had an ambulance uniform on that I knew where I recognised him from…. it was Ricky, the ambulance officer that relocated Kyah’s foot. I was finally able to thank him personally for relocating her foot and there not being any adverse effects. He was really pleased, and quite amazed, to hear she was back dancing en pointe 6 months later. Thank you again Ricky; you allowed God to use you and your hands to return my daughter’s foot back where it belonged.

We had Kylie and her lovely children stay with us last week, for the week. It was so nice to catch up with them and spend time with them. After a bit of a chat Kylie gave me this scripture which very much resonates with me and was very pertinent to our discussion.

You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.  As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. Jam 2: 24 & 26

The next few weeks are going to be extremely busy; exams and assignments at school, loads of dancing in different locations, eisteddfods that she will participate in (she has missed so many she was registered for because of her ankle), preparations for auditions, rehab and prehab and life…. I will do my best to keep you informed.