Julian began school on Monday. This year he’s a sophomore. He seems to have a new attitude (Thank God!) about school, schoolwork and grades. In fact, one of his best friends and a fellow dancer told me yesterday that Julian is “a different person.” It seems he was angry at her for talking on the phone rather than doing homework. Last year, I guess he didn’t have a problem with that (which would explain his terrible grades). While she spoke on the phone, he put in his Ipod earphones so he couldn’t hear her her and worked. Yahoo!
Maybe the trip to New York University, which is where he says he wants to go to college (if he isn’t recruited by Rasta Thomas first — his dream job at the moment) actually did the trick. I kind of hoped that if he got excited about a program and saw what it was going to take to get into a good school he’d get his act together. I do have to say, however, that his sister did have terrible grades as a freshman as well and then did really well after that. They both probably should have been held back before starting school since they were summer babies, but…too late now. Anyway, I hope Julian’s new attitude continues.
He appears to have a new attitude and work ethic at dance as well–left over from American Ballet Theatre and Broadway Dance Center. Dance at Teen Dance Company, however, doesn’t officially start until after Labor Day. That said, Julian has been dancing just about every day. He had choreography sessions most of last week and last weekend. He has also attended all the ballet and contemporary drop in classes offered at TDC. Additionally, he went to a ballet class at Los Gatos Ballet yesterday and tonight he is back at Studio 10 for jazz. He’s trying to stay in shape, plus he simply wants to dance.
We received an evaluation form from ABT, much to our surprise. Julian got mostly “very good” and “good” grades. (The only thing better would be an “excellent.”) He was impressed with the fact that they thought his adagio was “very good.” I thought it was funny that all his “excellent” marks were in the areas of “presentation” and “class etiquette and presentation.” Well, he does like to look good, but you can’t say, “It’s better to look good than to dance well,” when it comes to ballet. (That was supposed to be a play on, “It’s better to look good than to feel good.” If you have to explain the pun, I guess it doesn’t really work.) These areas included dress, grooming, attitude, motivation, effort, progress, attendance, and dress code. Actually, I’m proud he scored so well in these areas, and overall, he didn’t get one “satisfactory” or “needs improvement,” so I was a proud dancer’s mom. And Julian felt pretty good about himself as well. I think he was particularly happy that in the comment’s box it said, “Good partnering skills, and that is important for a boy.” (He felt that was the most important thing he learned this summer.
So, now to put everything he learned to use this year — including that new work ethic and attitude — both in school and in the studio. I hope he manages to be successful in both places. That would avoid so many fights and issues. And it would make him feel great.
In the meantime, we are grappling (already and it isn’t even September) with which Nutcracker to do. I think I already mentioned that. We still haven’t decided. The professional one seems enticing, but with no choreography set and a “child” role, there’s no telling what Julian will be doing. Plus, it requires all that driving to San Francisco and giving up social time on Fridays (no football games and dances for Julian — and no Shabbat services for me). The other production, which Julian was in last year, offers him the chance to be the Nutcracker prince. The choreographer said she’ll give him solos and lots of dancing and partnering work…but that will all have to be set on him as well. It’s not been done that way before. Yet, it’s local and she works around his schedule. (No Friday rehearsals…whoo hoo!) It could be a mute point, though, if any of the tech rehearsal dates conflict with TDC 2nd Stage tech rehearsals in December. So…it’s all up in the air.
With that said, I’ll leave you all to ponder for me the pros and cons and possibilities. I have to go off and search out more photos of Julian dancing. We wrote dueling columns for an upcoming issue of Movmnt magazine (the issue is focused on the topic of “family”), and they needed photos of him dancing. I didn’t really have any good ones. (Bad mom, I know.) So, I’ve had to search some out. While extremely time consuming, I must say I came up with quite a few from both TDC’s 2nd Stage and Concert performances last year, Los Gatos Ballet’s Copellia production, and even ABT’s final summer intensive performance. (Now I also have to buy some!)
Hopefully, next week I’ll have time to post what will probably be just the first in a series of blogs based on my conversation with Denise Wall, mother of choreographer Travis Wall and dancer Danny Tidwell. (That’s if I can get away from the photo search and column writing for Movmnt, and other miscellaneous projects, to get caught up on my editing work.)