Courage or Fear

by Darla on June 15, 2014

in Reno, Nevada

The Very Next Choice that We Make – Courage or Fear.  This chapter had a huge impact on me as well as the videos that Christa shared this week about her journey with marathons.  I’d like to share some thoughts on each of these topics.

Is it possible to sustain a level of discipline that requires real sacrifice for a long period of time?  This was the topic of discussion amongst 3 individuals.  What would your answer to this question be?  I believe that on our own without assistance from a Higher Power or God’s grace and strength this is not possible.  With Him it is possible to no longer need those things that we crave.

The result was trying a couple things that stretched me this spring, taking tap dancing and working closely with the artistic director at Reno Dance Company on the costuming for the spring showcase.

Tap dancing – have you ever thought you were too old to do something you missed out on as a child?  I think we all have things of this nature in our lives.  I saw a road sign the other day where a 95 year old woman graduated from college.  Nope definitely not too old.  It takes courage to step out of normalcy and move beyond the fear.  The result is freedom.  Freedom to start thinking in ways that aren’t defined by our age.  So what is stopping you?

There has been a thought rolling around in my brain that I would like to help out more with the costuming at the dance studio didn’t understand what I was walking into for sure.  It stretched my thinking about how to accomplish what needed to be done and having now idea how to do it.   It started with modifying existing costumes to freshen them up, creating more of the same (sometimes without patterns) and fixing problems with function or making repairs.  Being overwhelmed happened frequently.  New skills were learned along the way such as keeping track of volunteer hours, setting up kits of materials and directions for others to help with the sewing, and making final fittings.  One pair of pants started out unusable.  They were cut wrong and they fit no one.  It became a personal challenge to make the pants not only usable but look the same as all the others.  It took so many re fittings but finally success.  In the end, there was growth in skills learned not only on my part but for many others as well.

Lessons learned: Have general measurements for company members on hand either in a rolodex or card file.  It would have saved time and energy from ripping out stitches on hems and side seams etc.  I’m not sure that it would be so useful for the Nutcracker where most of the costumes stay the same but definitely for the showcase where there were so many costume changes – 12 for company members which was crazy.

Asking for help was huge and it wouldn’t have been possible without them.  All told we put in approximately 158 hours of sewing time.  Keeping track seems silly until you realize that it helps fulfill requirements in the grant process.  They money is then used to help with outreach during the Nutcracker and sponsorship for students that need help with tuition, shoes etc.

Putting costumes in a bin according to the dance with all the accessories would have been so helpful for chaperones of the littles.  In the end, having a master list of all the dances and what costumes went with what would have made the job so much easier for the chaperones helping with the littles to include:  hair (low or high bun, 1 or 2 pony tails), tights, shoes, hair accessories etc.   I did this the second day but now that I know will make sure that it is ready for the first day of rehearsals.

How to stage the room for the littles to change from one costume to the next.  Some had 5 costume changes which was crazy.  Even 3 was a bit nuts.  Thank goodness there were only 25 that needed to change instead of all 50 or more of them.

Taking a small sewing kit, masking tape, safety pins, hair spray, bobby pins, hair brush and a note pad were essential for the rehearsals and day of the performance.  It let the emergencies take on a different tone.  Also a good attitude to be able to encourage the kids when they were frightened or concerned about messing up.

Last but definitely not least, have the kids fold up their costumes when they have breaks between shows and put them in the appropriate bins while they wait.  It keeps them from getting too nervous and makes clean up in the end a breeze especially when we are all tired and ready to go home.

Sadly taking pictures that come out well has not been rectified, they all look like garbage and not worth posting.  What would be great is someone that takes photos of all the kids and then offers them whether for sale or not I don’t care.  This show there wasn’t the time to fuss with figuring out how to do it, perhaps next time.


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