Ballet Arkansas 40th anniversary season has come to a close, and it has been a very exciting and special season to be a part of. There is a lot to reflect on and much to look forward to. Looking back at what we accomplished and the level that we have risen to is astonishing. We started our season baring our teeth during the sinister production of Michael Fothergill’s "Dracula". It was a great challenge for us as dancers artistically and physically. Portraying a character as human (or vampire) and showing true emotions while executing physically demanding choreography correctly was a great test and marker for the rest of the season. Each show following proved to be even more challenging and demanding. And each of the Ballet Arkansas dancers have risen to the occasion.
Next season is sure to be just as exciting for our audiences and even more grueling for the dancers. Ballet Arkansas seasons are 30 weeks long, drawn out from mid August to mid May. Any week we aren’t performing, we are cross training and rehearsing for our next performance. So what do we do when we are off season, May through August? Well, as demanding as the season may be, it’s important to rest the body and mind while you can, and mend any injuries. It’s equally important to maintain a regiment of technique and cross training to be ready for the coming season. For me that means hitting the gym (thanks to our Season sponsor The Athletic Clubs) quite a bit more than I do during the season. I also continue physical therapy from our "Ballet Arkansas Cares" Sponsors chiropractor Dr. Roman Ratycz and Massage Therapist David Covill. It’s important we stay on top of our health for peak performance, so I take advantage our ID Life vitamin and supplement season sponsorship, as well.
Taking care of your mind is equally as important as your body. Over the summer I try to make a point of taking inventory mentally and ‘cleaning house’ so to speak so I can start the season fresh and focused. Taking time for myself, catching up on my reading list, and playing in the waves are some of best ways to do that for me. This summer is going to be particularly special because my fellow company member and fiancé, Megan Hustel, are getting married on the beach in June. So there is plenty of excitement to look forward to this summer and plenty to do.
Our first performance when we come back (to the 2019/20 season and my 10th season with the company) will be Sleepy Hollow, October 17th-20th. Even now we are all gearing up for the production and are very excited to share it with you all. There are a number of exciting things coming next season for Ballet Arkansas, so stay tuned! I hope you all have a restful summer and come back with energy and determination for the school year and new dance season!
Paul Tillman, Fiance Megan Hustel I Photo Courtesy of Jamison Mosley