I returned home on Sunday morning at 1:30 a.m. just six days after leaving California for New York. I traveled all the way across the country with my husband — six hours by airplane (not including 1.5 hours drive time in each direction to the airport and about 2 hours in the airport) — to see Julian in a 3-minute-long dance performance.
Call me (us) crazy. All I can say is that I feel much better now that I have seen him and know that he is happy, healthy, successful, and starting to get things accomplished in the Big Apple. I just had to see it for myself. Go figure.
Now, I did get to seem him for more than 3 minutes. I actually got to Julian every day I was in New York, and I also saw my daughter every day as well. So, that was fabulous and made me very happy. And both the kids seem to be doing really well.
As for Julian, he seems to have settled in nicely. He has friends — girls (no girlfriend per se) and boys. One of the reasons we thought going to SAB was a good idea was because he has had so few guys as friends, and we thought this would be an opportunity to develop more lasting friendships with other boys than he does over the summer. Indeed, that seems to be the case. He is good friends with his roommates and suite mates, and has at least 2 or 3 good male buddies.
Dance is going well. He was pretty exhausted when we saw him; he’d had two weeks of extra rehearsals on top of class. The day we watched class he had 6 hours of class including weight lifting. Pretty grueling, if you ask me. But he looked good…like he’d improved.
One of the nights we were there Peter Martins, artistic director for the school and NY City Ballet, watched the performance, and complimented Julian. He talked to him the next day. This is, I believe, the first time he has noticed Julian and actually talked to him and found out his name. So, that’s good news for Julian who says it’s rare for a guy who has only been at SAB for one year to be chosen as a NY City Ballet apprentice but who is still hoping for that to happen and working toward that goal. The man who makes that ultimate decison: Peter Martins.
The partnering classes were interesting to watch. At the most advanced levels there are way too many boys for the girls….something like 14 girls and 33 boys. The girls all have their preferred partners, and they stick with them even after they’ve had their turn. The new guys and lesser partners just stand around. No one makes the girls switch and take a new partner. Really crazy. When we were there Julian was selected to dance with a girl, but only because we were there observing. The second hour of partnering was with the second highest level of girls; they had a few more girls and even the new guys got a turn. You’d think, though that the teachers would want the new guys to actually dance and not stand there like wall flowers, no?
Anyway, the trip was probably a bit frivolous, expensive (even with my frequent flier ticket), and we ended up staying in a so-called B&B — a room in someone’s apartment– to save money (That was an experience.) But it was all worthwhile. I did really feel better about having Julian in New York afterward.
I came home to an empty house. Ron went on to Philadelphia for four days and then on to Germany for two weeks. I’m happy to say I did not sit here and cry this time. (I did cry when I left Julian, who said, “It’s just 5 weeks, Mom. It’s like an intensive.”) The house is empty save the cat, but I’m okay. I’ll see Julian and my daughter, Ariel, at Thanksgiving in NY, and I can live with that. They’ll be home just two and a half weeks after that for Christmas break. It will be the time until Spring Break that will be the hardest.
So, my advice to those of you who end up in the same boat….Go visit. You’ll be glad you did.