Friday, April 3, 2009

$5 Friday at Pacific Northwest Ballet

This evening, as part of their birthdays, Amanda and I took the girlies to see a 1 hr. rehearsal over at PNB, called "$5 Friday". For a mere $5 per ticket, you can watch company dancers rehearse/perform a snippet of an upcoming production. Not bad!

Now, we didn't tell the girls where they were going at all. In fact, Julianah was under the impression they were driving me to a job interview (!), and Abby thought they were going to see a puppet show (no, she's not fond of puppets).

It wasn't until we were directly across from the school (and its large sign and gigantic ballerina banner) that they finally figured it out. ;o)
We scored front row seats off to the side, near the door. We were hoping for "front 'n center" but only a few scattered seats were left, and we needed 4. However, we soon learned that those were the perfect seats for us. I'll explain that in a just a bit.

The dancers performed excerpts from Swan Lake (which, by the way, opens next week and---YIPPEE!--I'm going!), and were absolutely gorgeous.

Not to mention thin. Like teeny tiny! As in "Boy, do I wish I'd never stopped dancing!" thin. Or, "Was I ever that skinny?" thin...But I digress.

The girls enjoyed the "clunking" noise all the pointe shoes made on the floor, as well as the jaw-dropping lifts. There's nothing quite like watching a (male) ballet dancer lift the ballerina high into the air as if she were nothing more than a feather!

Now, here's where we realized our seats were "primo"! Just before the start of the rehearsal, I spied a ballerina sitting near us on the floor, stretching. It was Vala Dancewear/Class Act Tutu model, Miss Laura Gilbreath.

I quickly nudged Pookie, "Abs! Check it out! It's one of the Vala models! You remember her, right?"

Abby leaned over, saw Miss Gilbreath's face, and her eyes immediately lit up! :o) Wow! A ballerina she kinda/sorta knows, was mere feet from her.

However, as wonderful as Miss Gilbreath is, Abby's favorite dancer is Miss Lindsi Dec, another Vala model and PNB dancer.

Abby's been awestruck over Miss Dec ever since my first day at the Vala office. (A life-size banner of Miss Dec greets you upon entering the office.) Vala owner, Rebecca was so sweet to get Miss Dec's autograph for Abby for her birthday a few weeks back. (You cannot imagine the look of joy on Abby's face when she opened that envelope!)

So, of course Abby had her eye out for Lindsi, but couldn't see her. But that didn't matter much. She was thrilled just to be there. However, during the second half of the rehearsal, who should dance her way directly in front of us?

Oh yes. Her favorite ballerina. In the flesh.

Talk about your star-struck moments! ;o) Abby pointed her out to Julianah, who was equally enamored. They hit the jackpot tonight, folks!

Once the rehearsal ended, Miss Dec and Gilbreath quickly made their way out of the studio, along with the 24 other "swans". Abby was a bit disappointed, as she was hoping to at least say hello to Miss Dec. But the ballerina playing Odette lingered behind...hmmm...

Amanda led the way across the studio, and asked the ballerina if the girls could get a photo with her. She graciously obliged...(and like an idiot, I forgot to ask her name. Doh!)

Now, take a good look at this dancer. How old would you say she is? Late teens? Early 20's at the most? She's 27 years old. Isn't that amazing?! (Another reason why I should have never quit ballet...!)

Moving on.

So, as we're slowly making our way outside, who does Amanda see standing on the sidewalk just a few feet away?

Yep! Lindsi Dec!

The meeting was so sweet. She greeted the girls warmly, told them that she'd seen them inside, and asked if they enjoyed themselves. (Of course they had. But they could barely speak with this "famous" person standing in front of them! Ha ha!)

When I thanked her for her autograph, she looked down at Abby and said, "Oh! That was YOU? Aww, give me a hug!" Man, I wish I would've gotten a picture of that. Abby was absolutely beaming!

However, Abby did ask for a photo, and Miss Dec kindly obliged. Isn't it sweet? (Can you tell how nervous they were? Hee hee!)

This was truly an evening to remember. I'm so glad the girls were able to share it together. Just think; one day it may be them dancing in that very studio, for that very company. :o) We shall see...!!

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