Saturday, November 19, 2011

Practice makes... new friends?

Hi, this is Kaya again - three posts in a row from me, you guys will be so sick of it. :-P

I'm writing to update you again because the biggest new thing going on right now is Nutcracker rehearsals. Other than that, life is pretty normal. Well, at least our normal, which includes vampires and shapeshifters and stuff. ;-)

School is going okay for all of us. It's a pretty busy time of year, because the teachers want to get stuff done before the holidays, and we have a lot of extra activities. Speaking of those extra activities, Bree's drama club volunteered to do backstage work for Nutcracker! So now a third Green is involved; Bree has never danced in ballet in her life, but will be working on tech. At the moment, she thinks her job will be to operate the spotlight, which is very important to the show... but they're still deciding for sure what everyone's job will be.

Bree's drama club is also doing a holiday program of skits and songs at their school just before classes let out. She's doing tech for that, too. Bree has decided that she doesn't really like acting in front of people - although she enjoys the improv games they do at their practices - but she loves the backstage stuff. Personally, I think that's great, because it takes people doing both to make awesome shows happen. If everyone wanted the spotlight, plays and dance programs wouldn't be half as good, so I'm glad there are people like Bree who like to help with the unseen but equally important side.

Tabitha is doing well. She has good days and bad days, but the good days have been more frequent lately, and the bad days haven't been as bad. Maybe someday she'll feel comfortable blogging about it herself. For now, though, I'm pleased to tell you (with her permission) that things are better. Kiwi is feeling a lot better, too.

So... Nutcracker! That has been occupying a lot of my time and Fiona's in the past week. We've had rehearsals pretty much every day - although fortunately we have tomorrow off. It'll be nice to have a little break. Things are still pretty rough, but we still have a bit of time, and the teachers seem pleased with how it's going. We tried on our costumes today for the first time, and they look really nice, I think. Somehow, wearing the outfits we'll wear on stage (even without stage makeup and stuff) made it seem more real that we're actually going to be doing this thing in less than a month.

During rehearsals, we've made some new friends. That probably sounds weird since we're all from the same dance school, but our school is pretty big, so sometimes there are kids our paths don't cross with very much. For example, Fiona and the other Clara. They're at the same class level, but since that level has a lot of girls in it, it's divided into two sections so the teachers have a smaller group to teach at a time. Fiona and the other Clara, whose name is Cécile, are in different sections, so they have their normal classes on different days and don't really see each other. Nutcracker mixes that up a little, so we get to make friends with kids we wouldn't ordinarily get to know.

That's how Fiona and I ended up making some new friends. One of them is the girl I just mentioned, Cécile. She has a sister named Marie-Grace, who is also in the Nutcracker. I think maybe one or both of them might be adopted, because they look really different, but I didn't ask because I didn't want to pry. I thought it was neat that they have the same first names as the new American Girl characters - but they didn't seem to know who that was. Oh well.

Marie-Grace is playing Maria (Clara's best friend in the Party Scene) in Act One, and a Polichinelle in Act Two. At our dance school, it's a tradition that whoever plays Maria is also a Polichinelle, as another way the Kingdom of Sweets is like Clara's real life, although most of the audience never notices that.

The other girls at our practices were kind of ignoring Cécile and Marie-Grace, and whispering about them that they're weird. They wear really old-fashioned clothes and hairstyles, and they have a different accent. When the other girls tried to talk with them about the newest songs from the radio, or movies, or TV, Marie-Grace and Cécile were polite but clearly didn't know what the others were talking about, so the conversation kind of fizzled.

They don't go to the same school as anyone else from the group does. That's really not as unusual as it sounds... there are a lot of schools in the metro area, both public and private, and some kids are homeschooled or do co-op like I do... but it means yet one more thing they don't have in common with anyone else, because they don't know the same people or take the same academic classes. Eventually the other girls just stopped paying any attention to them.

Fiona and I felt bad for them, so when we had a break in the rehearsal, we went and sat with them. They turned out to be really nice! They're also really smart. They may not watch television or listen to the radio, but they know all kinds of things about ballet and art and classical music, and they've traveled quite a bit. We've heard them speak fluently in both English and French. I asked if they were from France, and they said no - they're from New Orleans, and they also know Haitian Creole. Very cool! I didn't realize anyone else at our dance school was originally from the United States, besides some of the girls in our family.

I got teased a little for talking to them, but whatever. Cécile and Marie-Grace are much nicer than people who would make fun of someone for not being "cool" enough. I think it's neat that they dress differently and stuff. They have a unique style! Which is more than I can say for a lot of people.

Blakeney said they can come over for supper sometime after a rehearsal. I hope they say yes when we invite them. It's always fun to make new friends! That's a nice thing about Nutcracker, meeting new people. I hope we can keep being friends with them after Nutcracker is over.



  1. Salut, Kaya!
    I definitely think you should peruse a friendship with Cécile and Marie-Grace. I personally think they sound cool. I like unique people, though. It would be boring if everyone was the same.
    I like people who have a unique sense of style, which is why I totally don't get why people want to dress the exact same as others. :( Sometimes, I feel all that people want to do is "fit in", but what exactly is fitting in? It sure isn't being something you're not. My sister knows that one from horrible past experiences. I think that fitting in means standing out and being yourself- one tends to make more real, true friends that way. My favorite quote is "It's not about success; it's about significance". I think that kind-of relates, no?

  2. Hello Kaya & family, you sure are the posting girl for awhile now Kaya. We love hearing from you so that is wonderful too.

    It is neat that Bree's club will be working on the set too, you are so right that these things need everyone to make it succeed. It is good when you have people who are happy to help with the off stage work and do not want to be in the spotlight.

    We are so glad to hear that Tabitha is doing better and still working to have her good days. It will get easier as it goes, sometimes I am sure it seems impossible to her, tell her to keep working at it.

    Your new friends sound like they are a couple nice girls. I hope they come over to visit and you all get to be close. It really sounds like they need that support with the other people acting like they have been. That is kewl too they are from New Orleans, and the US too.

    Keep us updated and enjoy your time with the nutcracker too.


  3. Kaya says:

    Hi Sabine,

    I agree! People should feel free to be themselves, and dress however makes them feel happy and comfortable. No one should have to pretend to be someone else... and real friends would never want you to!

    That's a great quotation, and it definitely relates. :-)


  4. Kaya says:

    Hi Taryn!

    Yeah, I am posting up a storm! I'm glad you're not sick of me yet. ;-)

    Bree and Tabitha both appreciate your words of encouragement.

    I hope Marie-Grace and Cécile will keep being our friends. Maybe we can introduce them to some of our other friends, too - they may have more luck with people from outside of the dance program who won't have reason to be jealous of them. Cécile and Marie-Grace seem like people we'll really enjoy spending time with.

    I was going to call them this evening to ask them to come for supper tomorrow, but their number wasn't in the dance school's directory. They've only lived in this town for a few months, so maybe they don't have a phone yet. Sometimes around here it takes a long time to get stuff like that set up. Fiona and I will just have to talk to them at Monday's practice instead about another day.

    I'll keep you posted on Nutcracker stuff! :-)


  5. Cécile and Marie-Grace sound like lovely friends. It's too bad that other people at dance don't care for them.

    It's so interesting that in your Nutcracker, there is a girl named Maria. My company's Nutcracker calls the main character "Marie." Before we moved here, I only ever heard of her as "Clara." Now I'm used to it, but I still think of Clara as the "right" name!

    Are you going to have a cast party when your show is over? We usually have a small one for each cast. All the kids are from my ballet school, but many of us are in different classes. Since we don't see each other outside of class, it can be pretty funny to see everyone in street clothes!


  6. Kaya says:

    That's really interesting that your company's main girl is called Marie! I wonder if that's where our school got the name Maria for the friend? Most of the guests in our Party Scene aren't named, but Maria has a little bit bigger role than most of the guests; she dances and acts extra with Clara.

    We actually have three cast parties after! ;-)

    Each cast will have a party after their final show. (I guess I'm supposed to go to both, since my roles aren't double-cast?) Then a few days later, we have a big holiday party for the whole dance school. It's sort of a celebration of the show, but all the kids are invited to that, whether or not they were cast for Nutcracker.

    Should be fun! :-)

    We invited Marie-Grace and Cécile over! They're coming tomorrow. Our rehearsals go till evening (we'll get a supper break in the middle) but the girls are coming over for a little while after that. We only live a few blocks from the dance school, so having people over is easy. I hope we have fun!

    I hope Tabitha does okay having guests, too. We haven't really tried that yet. She won't meet them - she's not ready for that - but I should warn her there will be strangers in the house.