My semester as ballet accompanist ends as of this morning. It’s been great, but this last week has been difficult due mostly to exhaustion and burnout.
I had more energy yesterday than Monday. Both of these days were “long” days for me (3 classes = 3.5 hours of class time). In fact Modern went very well yesterday. The last ten minutes of class were a gas. They ran through a long complex routine the teacher has been teaching them. Basically I got to improvise a lengthy dissonant rhythmic Jazz waltz for this period. Fun.
After that class my brother picked me up and he and I and my Mom went for lunch.
In the afternoon classes I started to show signs of wear. By the final class I was very exhausted but fortunately I don’t think it affected my playing too much.
The students have been chatting me up more and more. This is nice. Ballet class etiquette is that at the end of the class, the musician is always acknowledged, usually with applause. Then the students applaud the teacher. Ballet students are instructed to always thank the musician, and to do so looking him in the eye. Sometimes the entire class goes through a slow dance combination called the “Reverence” (pronounced reh ver AHNCE). Basically a formalized warm down it is a rehearsed curtain call that turns from one side of the audience to the other. The final 8 measures are usually a stylized bow toward the musician.
This is kind of embarrassing and often catches me off guard. I was embarrassed yesterday by the warm applause and thanks of so many students. But that’s the way it’s done, I guess.
I think I need a bit of time off now. Please.