By Adji Cissoko

After dancing all over France for several weeks we ended our annual winter tour in Neuss, Germany, a city I didn’t even know existed before this trip. I should’ve though! Not only is Neuss in my home country but it also has a really great hotel serving the best breakfast buffets! My mom was able to come from Munich to watch our performance which was great since my family doesn’t get to see me dance very often being that San Francisco is a little far…. But back to the breakfast buffet! It literally had everything you could imagine and dream about. From fresh cut fruits and home made yoghurts to smoked salmon, meat and potato balls! And I mustn’t forget about the German bread selection … Naturally I set my alarm extra early during our stay there to ensure I had enough time to enjoy it to the fullest! The fact that the company had been living off of bread and cheese for the whole time in France might have added to my excitement for the German variety.

The show itself went very well! Seeing as it was our last one of the tour everyone was excited to give their best for a nice finish. Personally I was thrilled to have my mom there and had to remind myself not to think about the fact she was sitting in the audience all too much. With Alonzo’s work especially, it is very important not to think about putting on a show but staying “in it” as he would say. And it worked – I just danced in the moment forgetting about the audience and letting myself get lost in the work, experiencing new things while dancing. When I wasn’t dancing but sitting backstage I observed my colleagues doing the same thing and it was inspiring to see…it always is!

Once the show was over the audience applauded loudly even stomping their feet into the ground which is very rare especially considering we are talking about little Neuss! But I guess they had felt the magic happening on stage and their appreciation meant so much! I was feeling proud and happy that my mom had been in the audience enjoying the show so very much as well. Then it was time for yet another buffet at the hotel, this time as part of a dinner reception. The next day, as all the excitement had worn off and my aching muscles reminded me of all the hard work I had put my body through, I was thankful for the travel day which was taking most of the company back to San Francisco and taking me home to Munich. It was time for my visa renewal which gave me the chance to visit the rest of my family and spend a couple of days at home! In retrospect, I have to say being home wasn’t all that relaxing since I went from one appointment to another but since most of them were dates with friends, I had a great time nevertheless. And most importantly – no visa drama this year!!

As I’m sitting on a plane to San Francisco now and still having to fly for 5 more hours, I’m trying to prepare for the coming week. Mentally at least. It’s not like I can move any part of my body. It’s always surprising how swollen my feet get and how stiff my body feels after a few hours in the air. It makes it hard to imagine having to dance soon. I guess that one day of rest I get before starting back has to take care of jet leg and body! While going over choreography in my head I feel that familiar feeling of excitement and nervousness for Monday. Excited about being back at the studio continuing to work on our new piece that Alonzo is creating for home season and nervous about not remembering all the steps that he had already choreographed before we left for tour and knowing it’ll be a hard week full of intense work because of our limited time before touring yet again. But the secret is just to take the week day by day!

To be continued…Adventures in pink!

Visit Adji’s personal blog to read more about her experiences: https://germangirlinapinkworld.wordpress.com

Cover photo by Tara Kayton

Written by Alonzo King LINES Ballet

Alonzo King LINES Ballet is comprised of an internationally renowned contemporary ballet company, three education programs that serve pre-professional dancers, and a dance center that provides adult drop-in classes for all levels. The LINES Ballet mission is to nurture dynamic artistry and the development of authentic creative expression in dance, through collaboration, performance, and education.

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