Courtney Henry in Sceaux, France

It’s 3pm on a Friday and I can’t help but reflect that a mere two months ago I would have been in my last class of the week, Graham to be exact, anxiously watching for the clock to turn 4:20pm so my weekend could begin. Fast forward and I’m in Sceaux, France enjoying the breeze and listening to the little French children giggle and play at the nursery right outside my hotel window, as I write my first tour blog for LINES Ballet. Comment tu dis “can’t complain?”

From the first day I arrived in San Francisco on March 1, until now, my life has been on perpetual fast forward. Spring Home Season after only a month, tour after two, I can’t help but wake up every morning and pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. Although I’m not physically attending school any longer the most exciting part of this whole whirlwind is how much I’m still learning. No, I’m not sitting in a classroom at Fordham or Ailey being graded on participation and attendance, instead I’m gaining life experience and being challenged both mentally and physically in ways I never even thought possible! In the absence of formal tests or juries I’ve grown to look at everything as a learning experience. From the more obvious lessons of learning the choreography (specifically, four new ballets in a week before this tour!) to the more internal education of who I am as an artist, I can honestly say I’ve probably gained more knowledge about myself and the way the “real world” works in these few months than I have in my entire four years at college.

My latest schooling has been the current tour. This trip feels even more special to me because not only is it my first tour with LINES, but it’s also my first time out of the country. We’ve only been in France for three days now, but I’m eager to soak up all that the country has to offer. So far the weather has been lovely, the food delicious, and despite the language barrier the people are quite friendly. I’ve already learned that 10-hour flights leave me with cankles, Le Parc de Sceaux is nothing short of magical, and the trains seem to go on strike at the drop of a hat (which I learned the hard way when I tried to go into Paris with Ricky today!)

We have our first of seven shows tonight and we’ll be performing Scheherazade and Dust and Light. I’m eager to perform, but definitely still nervous especially since the material is still so new to me. Dress rehearsal was not the best last night but let’s just blame that on adjusting to a new stage, setting, and jet lag…after all bad rehearsal means good show right? No matter what happens simply being able to share the stage with these nine other beautiful creatures is enough to make me give it my all, which is the best I can do. Whether it goes good or bad (whatever that means anyway) I’ll simply chalk it off as another lesson learned.

Until next time, Courtney

Written by Courtney Henry.