When you finish finals and you’re like “I wonder how many ways I can slide in a pointe shoe without falling over” . . .


Misty, Haikus, and other Finals Week Updates

After 40 pages of papers, 4 exams, and a long night grading session my finals are done. Some updates:

  • Coffee is good. I was never a daily coffee drinker before last week, because I was trying to save up my caffeine sensitivity for “emergencies,” but that has kind of gone out the window lately. I’m drinking coffee now.
  • At one point, it seemed like a good idea to write my papers as haikus instead of actually finishing them. Think #HaikuYourThesis could become a thing?

How to make it big:
Unis, music, public funds
Don’t piss off HUAC

He cares more than her
Blurry, disconnected forms
Marriage is scary

Sexy prostitutes
Get grotesque with Picasso
Shows a messed-up truth?

Mo oil mo problems
Did regional control help
Eh, it’s still a mess

Saudis and US
Frenemies with benefits
Democracy screwed

  • So I just casually took class next to Misty Copeland yesterday. It was in a very small, chill upstairs class at Steps: just a couple of pros, couple of tween bunheads, couple of adults, Misty, and me. She had just flown in that night, but was obviously still gorgeous. I tried to play it cool by not asking for a selfie.
  • Currently taking on the airport on Christmas Eve. Wish me luck.

Finals Week Expressed in Vintage Dance Pictures

  • Your early morning struggles:morning martha graham


  • Which doesn’t really help with your study space struggles:fosse finals


  • When you ask your professor for an extension:limon puppy


  • Those essay questions you didn’t really prepare for:nijinsky history


  • Your best guess for philosophy passage IDs:

unidentified ancient greek


  • When someone asks you how you’re doing and you’re like:literally dying swan


  • And when you’re finally done:bennington party


Dropping In

I’m done with the semester and back at home! What I wrote on the plane last night between episodes of Full House and JetBlue popcorn chips:

Since my finals week this semester lasted longer than my actual finals (don’t hate me–I had a lot of paper finals that were already turned in) I spent a lot of the time taking open dance classes around the city. Particularly, I spent some time in classes that I’ve never taken before, probably won’t take again anytime in the foreseeable future, and didn’t expect to be particularly good at.

Steps Lobby

See, there are two types of people in an open class: the regulars and the randos.

The benefits of being a regular are pretty obvious. You form relationships with teachers and other dancers. You become more familiar with the style and can work on a deeper, more detailed level. You hopefully get more personal attention and corrections over time. You have a name.

So why be a rando?

Sometimes it’s out of scheduling necessity (e.g. your schedule only lets you take that class during finals week), but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its perks.

Worst case, you’re invisible. Best case, the instructor takes personal interest in you, wants to know your name and background, and gives specific feedback.

But either way, you get thrown into a strange, new world with nothing to lose. Sure, there’s a chance to make a first impression, but there’s no reputation, no expectations following you. Whatever you do now is what you are here. (But only for 90 minutes.)

You’ll get confused and a little lost and thrown off your game, and you’ll have to get a little stronger and smarter as you find your way back on. You can ride that first, fast part of the learning curve, even if you don’t look amazing while doing it.

And there’s something kind of special about knowing that whatever happens in that 90 minutes has never happened to you before and may never happen to you again. It’s not a replacement for what you do every day, but it has its own charm.

Because eventually, all dance studios and dance classes start to feel a little like home, no matter where on earth you are or who you’re with. And dropping in is like a little test of how quickly you can find a home in an unfamiliar setting, at least until you let go of it once again to find a new one.