Monday, April 20, 2009


Someone, when I was studying dance with Carmelita Maracci in California, put pins, slender straight pins in my brassiere.

I didn't put it on, didn't get hurt, but it was chilling.

Something like what happened to me when the dance company, (my first job as a dancer) told Charles that if he didn't fire me, they we quitting.

... It was more than chilling ...

Charles called me into the studio. Everyone was assembled. Each of them had a complaint S. said: She's rude, and aggressive."

... I'd worn her rehearsal skirt ... it was hanging with all the others, I didn't know it was reserved ...

B. said: "We think she's the one who's been stealing."

Personal things quite often disappeared from the bags and purses that dancers left on the seat, during class. A watch, some bracelets, coins. B. mentioned a silver hair clip.

... She'd shared her sandwich with me, given me half of a bar of candy, lent me a dime for a phone call yesterday, which I hadn't paid back. I didn't have much money, but I certainly wasn't a thief ...

P. and her husband, J. complained about my bitten nails, about me bragging, about the slave girl solo which Charles had given me. They said: "She's too wild. The way she's doing it, It's not dancing, It's hokey, melodramatic."

Everyone found something awful to say. Ten dancers. They were united: I was immoral, pushy, a show off, thief, liar, an unprofessional untalented dancer.

I wanted to run away and never come back, I didn't want to show up for the next day's rehearsal. I desperately wanted to quit. It was my first job paying job as a dancer. I'd told my parents, I'd already borrowed a suitcase.

A week later, I was on tour with the company . Nobody wanted to room with me. Single rooms in the hotels were very costly. I got the names of cheaper places, from desk clerks, and stayed in tourist homes. Sat by myself on the bus. Dined by myself on groceries that I bought at local supermarkets. Did my warmups, always in a corner. But, I still had my solo.

I know their names and have followed their careers -- their marriages, teaching assignments, in various schools and colleges, two of them went on to choreograph on Broadway and TV, minor shows you've never heard of. Their dreams, Broadway and TV things we had talked about as friends, sharing cokes and coffee, did not come true.

Not one of them came close to achieving what I've achieved. I made it. They didn't.

Wait a minute, why am I writing this ... ? Because I can't e-mail the bad guys? Because I don't feel revengeful -- because I'm feeling a tinge of sadness, that's vanishing like smoke and becoming plain regular breathable air?

I see that posting this is my way of forgiving them.

1 comment:

Carola said...

I am appalled that people treated you that way. I know you were very young, but how could people have felt those things about you?