After a successful tour to Orange County, we were given a week off to unwind so most of us jumped at the chance to travel before the home season consumes our lives. For Frances Chung, Jaime Garcia Castilla, Dores Andre and myself, Cabo San Lucas was calling our name. We found a great deal and less than 24 hours after the Sunday matinee of Romeo & Juliet, we were lounging around the pool at the Bahia Beach Hotel.
However, we knew sitting around a pool all day would never jive with our active nature so we filled our days with snorkeling, swimming, and boogie boarding. We explored both coasts of the Baja Peninsula, and drove on gravel roads for miles to find the most majestic, desolate beaches. We had the thrill of catching a wave on a boogie board and swimming out in the ocean to find a beautiful coral reef with brightly colored fish. We’d finish each day eating at the most authentic restaurant we could find, and return to our hotel at night, compare sunburns, and plan our adventures for the next day.
Now that we’re back to work, our tans have faded and all we have is pictures of us in snorkel gear to give us a laugh. I’ve realized that dancers rarely talk about the friendships and relationships you build with your fellow company members. Often, those outside SF Ballet hear about the competitive nature of professional dance, or someone’s personal path in a dance company, but the bonds you form with fellow dancers is unique; we are in the trenches together working through physical and mental fatigue to do something we all truly love.
Many of us left home at a young age and are unable to be there for the holidays because of our schedule, so your fellow dancers become your family. The Cabo locals had a hard time figuring us out: two Spaniards, a Chinese-Canadian and an American–they didn’t know what language to speak to us in and we didn’t try to explain. Though we come from all over the world, with different traditions and beliefs, the art form has brought us together and has given us the opportunity to learn from each other and build these special relationships.
I think that when I’m no longer dancing, I’ll miss these friendships the most: the times of difficulty and craziness spent together in the studios, backstage and on stage; they truly are one of a kind, and of course, I’ll miss the time Fran, Jaime, Dores, and I conquered Cabo San Lucas.