Two years in the world's best ballet shop. Almost every week for the past few years, I have spent a couple of days in this ballet shop. I have sold ballet leotards, fitted pointe shoes and found the right jazz shoes for hundreds of customers. I have done a little bit of dancing in-between (and whilst) helping costumers, counting shoes and packing orders... and I have loved it.
When I first graduated from NSCD, the most challenging thing I could do for myself, was to move back home, start the freelance life and to start this job. I got the job in the shop two days after I moved back home, and I was so scared and excited for this next chapter of my life. This might sound strange to some, but I had never had a normal job in my life and I had no clue how to do it. All I felt like I had ever known, was how to work as a dance student. This was different. And little did I know that I needed different. Different made me a better dancer. This job has taught me how to relate to people of all ages, how to be service minded and how to have confidence in knowing what to respond when a stranger calls and asks for pointe shoe advice. It has taught me that magical moments happen everywhere and that this makes all jobs valuable. This has made me a better dancer. Why? Because it brought me back to what I believe is at the core of the dance - people. I also realised it is possible to improve in other ways than just dancing. I suddenly got good at dealing with customers. I got good at something different than lifting my legs and pointing my toes (btw. dancing is so much more than that, but I am trying to prove a point here). I got good at welcoming people into the shop and (hopefully) making their day a little bit better by serving them.
When I was little and walked into the ballet shop, I always felt better when I left it. Because magic is everywhere. It can happen in all those small moments, and this is why all jobs are important. So so important. I am proud to have worked in the ballet shop. In the shop I am merely a person working in the shop, but I can also be the person that makes someone's day just a little bit better. And that is very special.
I came home one evening after doing one of my other jobs, and I suddenly realised that I needed to quit my job in the shop. I suddenly realised that I had seven jobs. Seven jobs I wanted to do to the best of my ability. Seven jobs and one part-time study. And that doesn't work. Not if you also have ten (exaggerating a tiny bit) other projects you want to invest your time in. Not when you have life outside work. Not when the timing is right to let go of the shop. So I picked up the phone the next morning and I called my boss. Because in a split second I knew that this was it. The timing was right.
As a dance artist I am not just a dancer. I am the artist who worked in a ballet shop for two years - cleaning the floor and helping little ballerinas buy their first pair of ballet shoes. I am the artist who works as a project manager for Dans/5. The artist who teaches dance to old and young people. The artist who creates dance and performs dance. The artist who believes that all these aspects of dance are equally important. The artist who wants to keep doing it all, but that also knows that there is a time for everything. The artist who realised that having seven jobs and one study is not sustainable. The artist who lets go of the shop to make space for the now. The artist who is forever grateful that life feels like a fairytale at the moment. The artist who will go back to the west coast dancing as huldra next week. The artist who is learning to say no in order to make space for more yeses. The artist who is so grateful for having spent two years in the best ballet shop in the world. The artist who will now go to bed because it is a very good idea.