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Huge Effort and Lighthearted Fun

For dance students, October 9 was a particularly notable day in an action-packed year—that was the day they met the choreographers they would work with in the annual New Dances program, which features a premiere created for each class by a different choreographer. It opens on December 12 . Fourth-year Ingrid Kapteyn reveals how she navigated that meeting—and her numerous other commitments.

 Ingrid Kapteyn

Ingrid Kapteyn

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8 a.m. After a systematic march down the hallway that connects the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen in my apartment to coordinate clean clothes, clean teeth, backpack, and lunch pack, I ritualistically pour four layers of Trader Joe’s cereals into a bowl with banana, blueberries, raisins, and milk. The one day that I was sick last year was the one day that did not begin with such a seriously cereally scrumptious breakfast.

8:35 a.m. I scramble out the door so I can board a No. 2 or 3 train from 135th Street—should have left five minutes ago. I lent the Razor that usually scoots me to and from the subway to a friend over the weekend, and my feet will not be able to make up for its missing speed.

9:05 a.m. Yikes, I really miss Scoot! I arrive minutes late to a discussion about possible fund-raising ideas for my dance class’s Senior Production, in May. The show is eight months away, but because we produce every element of it from scratch, from choreography and dancing to finances and marketing, we have a Senior Production course that meets one morning a week all year long.

10:40 a.m. The 25-minute break between Senior Production class and ballet class never seems long enough to go to the locker room, pin up my hair, and warm up properly, but we’ll be sweating from our barre exercises in seconds anyway.

12:15 p.m. Even though our first rehearsal for New Dances does not begin until 4 this afternoon, my class’s choreographer, Jarek Cemerek, jumps in to teach modern because our usual Horton teacher is absent. We’re psyched to break the ice early with this warm-eyed man from the Czech Republic.

1:40 p.m. Our choreographer-turned-teacher pauses before demonstrating another organic passage of rolls across the floor to ask when class ends, and my classmates and I are sad to have to tell him “now.” But we cannot give up our lunch break, no matter how much we are loving his sensitive and sweeping lesson.

3:46 p.m. My Classical Duets elective also ends before I realize how much time has passed. Somehow the insanely slow partnering, which basically requires the man to hold the woman in the air nonstop for 10 minutes, sped by. Huge effort seems to make for lighthearted fun?

5:36 p.m. After about an hour and half of learning one after the next jet-paced phrases in rehearsal for New Dances, Jarek gives us a water break. Since he started getting to know us this morning, he’s been diving in to choreographic material that already feels remarkably and exhaustingly “full-out.” 

7 p.m. In the same minute that our three-hour New Dances rehearsal ends, rehearsal begins for an independent project conceived by my classmate Garth Johnson. A cast of seven dancers from different years will perform his piece in the Student Choreography Workshop the day after tomorrow. He finished it last week, but we are running it and cleaning it in the evenings that remain before the show.

7:30 p.m. I skitter down the hallway to a new studio for another student’s Choreography Workshop rehearsal. I had to miss the beginning because it overlapped with my last rehearsal and scheduling is always crazy around show week (when isn’t it?!), but he only has a little bit of his piece left to finish and is generously understanding of my delay.

9 p.m. After stretching for 20 minutes so that I’m not overwhelmingly sore from this first day of New Dances rehearsal when I wake up tomorrow, I head to my locker to pick up my scooter (it’s back!) for the ride home, where my sister and her boyfriend are putting pizzas in the oven for dinner.

12:48 a.m. Several slices, e-mails, and drafts later, I am ready to send a version of this article off to The Journal and climb into bed. Looking forward to rehearsals—and cereals—tomorrow!

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