Friday, November 11, 2011
Several weeks ago, when my friend Maiki was visiting me in New York, she told me about her friend Coral. Coral moved to New York City recently. She's from New Zealand, but she spent the previous year in Hawaii (where she met Maiki). Now, she and family are living in Brooklyn. Maiki thought the two of us would get along well, especially since we are both dancers. So, yesterday afternoon, I met Coral in Manhattan.
Like Maiki, Coral studies Polynesian dancing. As Coral is half Maori (the indigenous people of New Zealand), she studies traditional Maori dancing. I thought that was really interesting, but I wanted to know more about her ballet studies. I asked her where she takes classes and she told me she goes to a well-known school. I had to know- what was it like? I asked her about her audition, and she began to tell me.
"On the day of the audition," Coral said, " I woke up early and had butterflies in my stomach. I have studied dancing for a long time, but the school I was auditioning for is very well-known, so I was a bit nervous. As we moved to New York City between ballet school terms, I had a private audition. I was just told to come to the building on Broadway, wearing a leotard, tights, and ballet slippers. While I waited for the ballet mistress, I stretched."
"You must be really good if they wanted to see you in the middle of the term!" I interrupted. Both of our schools are pre-professional schools- there is one audition a year and it is very rare to get in otherwise.
"Thank you," Coral said shyly. "My parents and I talked about requesting an audition for your school, but my ballet teacher back in Wellington recommended this one."
"Soon, the teacher came into the room," continued Coral. "It was actually a lot like a mini ballet classes. She taught me some combinations at the barre and I went through them. I couldn't help looking around the big, sunny studio. I knew I wanted to study there."
"After I did my exercises at the barre, the teacher asked me to come to the center of the floor and dance a short piece for her. I was anxious, because I knew this school would really help me in my career, but it went really well! I was flying across the floor!"
Coral stopped. "I was really nervous!" she said.
"I was really nervous for my audition too," I replied. "I'll tell you about it sometime."
"It was over pretty quickly. The teacher left the room, talked to my parents, and came back in. She told me I could join the school!"
I could tell Coral was still surprised and happy that she had gotten into the school.
"The next time I went to that big building on Broadway," she said, " I wore the official lavender uniform of my level at the school. I did it!"
I was impressed. While my ballet school is better known, Coral's school is very good too. In fact, a boy from her school worked as the title character in a Broadway musical about an English boy who loves to dance.
Maiki was right- Coral is a great friend. We spent the rest of the afternoon chatting about life in New York. Both of us are busy with Nutcracker rehearsals right now (my school's parent company performs in Manhattan, at Lincoln Center, while Coral's school and parent company are performing The Nutcracker in Brooklyn), but we pinky-promised that we'd try to come see each other dance.
I'm really glad Maiki introduced us. Do you have any friends with whom you have something important or special in common?