1 Year Today!!!

It has been one whole year today since Kyah injured her foot. Sometimes the event seems so much longer ago and other times it seems so much less than one year. So much has happened in the year.

I know both Kyah and I had a level of PTSD. Only for the fact we were able to talk about it were we able to deal with it. I was very fortunate I had an almost endless supply of ears at work – my clients heard it all, and I’m sure some of them heard it more than once. I knew I was dealing with it by talking about it, but Kyah did not speak about it for a long time.

Finally when she started talking about it, I encouraged her to continue speaking. I think the simple fact of re-living the trauma and knowing the outcome was positive, is a great way to deal with and change the emotions associated with the event. I’m not a psychologist by any means, but this method worked for us.

Also, the fact that Kyah healed completely and has progressed so much from where she was, allows both of us to heal emotionally from the trauma. There really is hope, and the reality of a dream and a promise can be realised and achieved. She is on track again. 

The orchid pictured here was a gift from a group of dear friends I trained at the time of Kyah’s injury, and this orchid will be the annual reminder of the anniversary. The flowers will come out at this time each year. How beautiful the flowers are. What a lovely reminder for us.

        

Kyah is finally doing her RAD exam next week. She was supposed to do it this time last year… Let’s get it over with and move forwards.

The year has seen Kyah mature a lot; she had to in order to deal with the trauma of her injury. She is so much stronger in herself and more determined to do things she wants to do. She is less likely to allow people to intimidate her or treat her less than desirably. We discuss each event she does and she tries to gain experience and a lesson from each event – whether it be that she needs to prepare differently, or that she does not enjoy doing certain things anymore, or that travelling certain distances is not worth it, or working with certain teachers and peers is positive or negative and why. She is really looking at every experience she has, in order to benefit to take her that step closer to her ultimate goals. This is a sign of maturity, and it is so pleasing to see she has grown into such a lovely young woman.

We are waiting on whether or not she has been successful with Queensland Ballet full time senior program. This is her ultimate short term goal. If she is successful we look at the logistics of the situation. If she is not successful, Kyah and I have already discussed an alternative – she is thinking ahead and will not give up. If she was going to give up, she had plenty of opportunity and a very valid excuse with her foot. We did have that discussion when she was rehabbing – if she did not want to do the hard work then, she could easily quit and no-one would think any less of her. I am so glad she decided to keep fighting and pursuing her goal.

We are both truly indebted to our dear friend Anne. She has been such a rock for us both over the last 12 months. We have spoken to her almost every day and she has supported and encouraged both of us, laughed with us, cried with us and walked the journey with us. You have really been such a support to us Anne, words cannot express how thankful we both are to have you in our lives.    

There are so many others that have walked this journey with us, and we are truly indebted to you all for your support, friendship, prayers, phone calls, time, and love. Thank you all so much. This last 12 months has been very tough on us.

That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger… How true. Both of us are stronger.

Kyah has really had her “anniversary” on her mind for the last few weeks. She is ready to look at her photos, she has posted on her social media pages, and she has asked if she can make her first post here today. Here it is, in Kyah’s words.     

WOW! I can’t believe it has been a year already! So much has happened emotionally, physically and mentally. Today, 1 year ago, I dislocated and fractured my left ankle. I broke it in two places. When I went to hospital, I was told that I would need an operation to put pins and plates in my ankle to stabilise it. Having this done would mean that I would never be able to dance again. Mum didn’t think that the surgery was necessary and wanted time to think about it. In the end she didn’t sign the consent form but said if the head orthopaedic guy said that I needed an op, she would accept his advice. So, we were preparing for an operation all night. The next morning the head orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Simon Platt,  said that I was young, fit and healthy and that I didn’t need an operation because the best joint to injure if you want a full recovery is the ankle! I was so happy to hear this! I was put into a cast and able to go home later that day. I was in a cast for 5 weeks and a moon-boot for 4 weeks. When I was in the cast I was doing a lot of upper body exercise and focusing on my upper body with dancing. When I was in the moon-boot my mum and I did a lot of rehabilitation so I could dance again. Because of my mum, making me do rehab everyday (she’s an Exercise Physiologist), I was up dancing, on pointe 6 months after the accident. When I got my pointe shoes I wanted to get En Pointe Orthotics to go in them. This was to help me physically, and also mentally. These orthotics have helped me so much!! Getting my pointe shoes was probably one of the best days of my life! Knowing my dream and passion had not been destroyed by an injury.

In May this year I was asked to open a Bond University function for BULWA (Bond University Law Wellness Association). During my last rehearsal 20mins before the performance, I tore the ligaments in the same ankle. I had to take more time off to rehab this injury too. In some strange way mum thinks tearing my ligaments was a good thing – she said it indicates all the ligaments are the correct length. They were never damaged in the injury – believe it or not!!!

Now, I am back from both of these injuries; I am preparing to complete my RAD Intermediate exam next week – I missed out last year because I had my major injury about a week before my exam. I have been successful with some auditions and I am waiting to hear back with other auditions. I know my injury slowed me up a bit with regards to the level of ballet I am at, but I believe I have learned so much and grown so much mentally and emotionally that I am a better, stronger, more determined person for having been through the experience. Would I like to go through it again??? No thank you. 

There are some significant people I would like to thank for doing this journey with me: my mum; she has been there beside me every step of the way, Anne – she too has been so supportive and encouraging and helped both mum and I when the going got tough, which it did at times, Clare for being such a beautiful, caring, positive and encouraging teacher and Nika for also being so patient and understanding. There are lots of people that have encouraged me along the way, and I am truly grateful to everyone for their time, love and support.

At exactly 4.25pm today, the time the injury happened last year, Kyah went out to the yard and did 2 aerials! They were done on the ground – no trampolines were involved at all. She is totally healed and very able to do everything she used to do. What a relief and what a journey it has been so far.  I hope and pray that the next 12 months are filled with positive experiences and stories about Kyah and her successes in dance and life.  

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you. Isaiah 26:3

Melbourne City Ballet

Well, what a huge day yesterday. Kyah did the audition for Melbourne City Ballet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  We needed to be in Byron Bay before 10am for the audition, which meant we needed to leave home about 8am, so Kyah would have time to settle in and adequately warm-up beforehand. The kids went in just after 10am and at about 11am, we found out who was successful and who wasn’t. Kyah was successful. 

The dancers for the evening performance, including 2 girls from Melbourne City Ballet

Kyah was fortunate enough to be chosen to participate in both the 2.30pm and 7.30pm performances; the only child that was. She was required back at the theatre by 1.30pm for the first performance, so we were able to leave and have some lunch and do her hair and makeup ready for the first performance.  Fortunately, Kyah had learned the dance the day before in anticipation of the audition, so she was familiar with what to do.

I did not watch the first show because I had already organised with Clare, one of Kyah’s dance teachers,  to watch the evening show. So Kyah’s first performance with a big ballet company was not seen by me!!! Oh dear. I’ve seen almost every dance she has ever performed, and I miss that!!!

The girls from the day time performance

I picked Kyah up about 4.30pm, Kyah said she felt really pleased with her performance; she knew her routine and felt confident. That is great, I was so pleased, but not surprised. Kyah has really come a long way in the last 12 months. She has matured so much, and her confidence in her ability, has increased. This was essential because she had been crushed emotionally by a number of people over the last few years, people that really should have been building her up and instilling confidence in her talent and ability. Kyah’s journey has been more than just a physical healing journey from her foot injury. It has also been about her believing in herself again, and this is really starting to come to fruition now and she knows, whose she is, where she wants to go, and what is important and necessary to her, in order to get there. Those that have negatively impacted Kyah really don’t have much affect on her now, which is so good, especially considering some of these people are adults.

Phil 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

We had a bite to eat and got ready for the evening show. She was back at the theatre by 6.15pm, ready to go again. Clare, (dance teacher), her mum, Jane, and I watched the evening show. Melbourne City Ballet did a great job. There are some talented ballet dancers in the company and it was a real pleasure to watch the performance.  Obviously it was lovely to see Kyah dance with Melbourne City Ballet and she just fitted in perfectly. No nerves, just beautiful to watch. She is definitely blessed with a talent to do ballet.

Thank you Melbourne City Ballet for the opportunity for kids, like Kyah, to be able to dance alongside professional ballet dancers, it was great.

By the time Kyah got changed and we drove home, it was almost midnight. Long day.  Sunday … a day of rest and catch-up. Now to prepare for the next commitment.

 

 

We Wait Now

Kyah has been wanting to get into Queensland Ballet for a few years now. For one reason or other, the opportunity has not come up for Kyah. Now the opportunity is here. Queensland Ballet have an excellent reputation around the world and from what we have seen, the way the dancers are taught, nurtured, moulded and respected is something we would like Kyah to be a part of.

Last week, was the big audition day – September 9, 2017, for Queensland Ballet Senior program. “Senior Program” means, if she is successful she would dance with Queensland Ballet “full time”. Basically this means she would do year 10 school and dance every day with Queensland Ballet. They are affiliated with a local high school and they offer a program specifically for these dancers. Something Kyah would love to do. It is a great age for her to get into a ballet company, so they can nurture, mould and teach her hopefully with the intention of her progressing into becoming a company member at some stage.

The week leading up to the audition, Kyah had a terrible flu, but really rested; lots of fluids, nothing but healthy foods, no dancing for 5 days, sitting in the sun and just trying to get over the flu that has hit so many people in Australia this season. By Friday, the day before the audition, we thought Kyah was well enough to dance, so she had a session with Clare, which was probably really good for her – just to move again and feel “normal”.  Even though Kyah still had a chesty cough, we decided she was much better than she had been, and she was able to dance and she did not want this opportunity to pass for another 12 months.

The night before the big audition wasn’t too stressful. There was lots of praying and thinking positive. We even moved a room around at home!

She was comfortable, she was familiar with the facilities, the faculty, and did not have any unnecessary stressors to put her off. She has done so many workshops there in the last 18 months, she is quite familiar with the place. This is how we wanted it.

I became more anxious as the audition time went by. For the most part, I was good, but as the time came  closer for me to pick her up I became more anxious, just not knowing anything about how she had performed, what was happening in there, how she felt, all the questions that I had, I literally had no idea of what was happening or what had happened.

She finally walked out with a smile on her face! That was a good sign.  Kyah said she felt really good while she was dancing. She felt good warming up, knew the room, the floor, the exercises, didn’t cough too much, her flu didn’t affect her negatively. Everything seemed to be just right.

Now we wait. We won’t hear if she has been successful or not until about early to mid October. It is in His hands now. We have done all we can for the time being with this avenue.

Just waiting, patiently

If she is successful, it will be a major life change for us. If she isn’t successful, well, it’s back to the drawing board – where to from here???

Tomorrow she is auditioning with Melbourne City Ballet to perform with them in Byron Bay. They are doing A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The audition is in the morning and if she is successful, she gets to perform with them at 2.30pm and 7.30pm the same day. Hopefully she gets in; it would be a great experience for her. It will be a very quick experience, but valuable anyway.

School term finishes today, thank goodness. It has been nothing but a whirlwind of work, and reading, and assessments, and stress, and then, add to that, her dance commitments. The next 2 weeks will be lovely for her to rest and try to regather her thoughts, reorganise her room and herself, ready for the last term… another onslaught of work.

Just waiting.

Some relaxing days ahead, while we wait. Psalm 5:3 In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.

Bangarra

Kyah has been very busy with school, dancing and her other commitments. We manage to fit so many things into a day and a week, it is amazing. We never seem to get a chance to just sit and relax. Life is just flying by. Kyah is counting the hours until Christmas! What a scary thought.

As part of Kyah’s requirements for one of the education programs she is doing, Kyah is required to do prac teaching. So for the last 4 weeks, Kyah has been helping to teach a group of 3-4 year olds jazz! . It is so cute to think about Kyah as a teacher of little children. She would be so good – she is such a patient person and she is an amazing natural teacher anyway. This will continue now for a few months, so I assume Kyah will be quite experienced at teaching little children by the end of it.

When Kyah was at a dance school, she was asked to help out with the younger children for the end of year concert. This involved Kyah learning their routine, and being on stage doing the routine to help the children remember what to do – showing the little kids what to do and directing them, as well as help the kids move on the stage and ensure they were on time. She did such a good job. Anyway, this prac teaching will be great for her confidence and it is the perfect start to getting into teaching  – which is one avenue she will pursue in time.

Two weeks ago, we had a massive scare! We get most of Kyah’s performances recorded on USB, so we have a record of what she has done. Kyah can then watch it over to critique herself but it is also a great memory for us. Anyway, after the last eisteddfod, Kyah went to watch her performances that were put on the same USB, we were both so upset to see that the USB itself had had a hissy fit and decided to lose all files except 1 dance!

We were both so upset that we had possibly lost all record of her dances over the last 3 years! I had never backed the files up to anything…. lesson learned. I contacted the owner of the company whom we had bought the videos from and explained to him the situation. He was fantastic. He kept a copy of all the files he has filmed. So we spent a few hours back at eisteddfods getting all the past dances uploaded back onto the USB. Needless to say, I have a second USB with copies now, and I am uploading all her dances to my private YouTube channel. It was such a relief to know the only record we had of Kyah dancing for the last three years, could be retrieved and was not lost to cyber space somewhere…

Kyah is continuing to dance at various dance places, with a variety of dance teachers. This is good for her; having a variety of teachers, they teach differently, they will make similar suggestions in a different way and it makes sense to Kyah. Also, not having only one or two teachers teach you is a bonus. Kyah is very receptive to different teachers, and she is not fixed with one style of ballet. She is learning a bit of RAD (Royal Academy of Dance style), Vaganova,  Cecchetti and each teachers’ own slight variation / interpretation of the style they teach. This means Kyah is not “fixed” with one ballet technique ingrained in her movement patterns; she is very adaptable to change to a different style. There are many kids out there that have only got one or two teachers, which means they are less likely to be able to adapt to an alternate style of ballet quickly.

Kyah was dancing the other day and her teacher on the day commented on her pointe shoes – stating they probably needed to be changed. No sooner had she said it when her pointe shoe literally fell apart! Thankfully she was not dancing at the time. So we have now got another pair of pojnte shoes. It is amazing how fast pointe shoes wear out and need replacing. We will go get a second pair in a couple of weeks to have two on the go. Apparently two pairs on the go is what is recommended.

We went to see Bangarra perform the other evening. They were fantastic. They are just so athletic, strong and lithe. The performance was titled Bennelong. Absolutely fantastic. They received a standing ovation after the performance and really did deserve it. We both thoroughly enjoy watching Bangarra perform. Our dear friend, Anne, shouted tickets for us. Thank you so much Anne, we wish you could have come with us.

The next few weeks are even more busy for us than what we have been, if that is even possible. Kyah has an eisteddfod dance tomorrow. The section is Own Choreography.  She has choreographed her own dance – a classical genre. Most kids will usually choreograph a lyrical or contemporary style of dance, but Kyah decided to do a classical. It will be interesting to see if anyone else choreographs a classical style of dance.

We are hoping she is well enough to dance. At the moment she is a bit affected with the flu. It has been pretty bad this season and it has hit Kyah, now for the third time. I really think she is doing too much and we are in the process of trying to cut down her responsibilities a bit; just to give her a bit of a break and to allow her the opportunity to give her passion a real go.

Next week Kyah has a huge audition with Queensland Ballet, Senior program. We are really hoping she is successful. This is where she wants to dance as a company member. So many dancers want to dance overseas, but Kyah would love to dance with Queensland Ballet. They have such a great reputation around the world, why would you want to go overseas when you have some of the best teaching faculty, and one of the best classical dance companies right here in Australia and also very close to our home. Prayers please, those of you that do pray, for a successful audition process and selection into the senior program with Queensland Ballet. Thank you all in advance.

Kyah was supposed to audition with Queensland Ballet last year, but she was unable to due to her injury; now totally healed.  Her foot is little bit larger around her ankle and the burn mark is still there but there is nothing structurally or physically wrong with her foot at all. Praise The Lord.

The following day, after the audition, Kyah has her classical and contemporary dances to perform again. As I said in the last post, the reason behind Kyah participating in eisteddfods is for her to get used to holding the audiences’ attention. She is the only performer and this requires more skill than if you were dancing in a group. Whether she places or not is really irrelevant (although it is always nice to place and be acknowledged), but it is one person’s opinion of the performance, and we use each performance as a guide for Kyah to work towards more consistent, confident performances and working on something in particular. – how was her warm-up, her turns, her eye contact with the adjudicator, audience etc.  You can’t practice performing in front of an audience if you don’t do eisteddfods.

1Jo 4:4 You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.