09/27/2011 03:35 pm ET Updated Nov 27, 2011

The Thrill of Going on Tour

Greetings from Orange County! We are here at Segerstrom Center for the Arts and this afternoon, we'll perform our first dress rehearsal for tonight's Opening Night of our mixed repertory program! In particular, my Symphony in C dancers have been working extremely hard and every day they come together more and more. It's such an amazing ballet and being on the other side of the studio I have come to appreciate it on a whole new level. It is so thrilling to see the stage filled with dancers moving in precise formations and unity. When it's at its best, (which I know it will be), it is a magnificent sight to behold.

I can tell that many of the younger dancers are thrilled at the concept of going on tour, and I see myself at their age feeling the excitement of the adventure of travel. I loved the whole thing -- packing my theater case with my makeup, my good luck photos and mementos; all of us getting on the plane, the smell of the hotel, moving in to the theater and setting up my space and of course, the response of the different audiences. In some places where we have danced, we have received very appreciative but muted response and in other places, they jump out of their seats and stomp and cheer. I remember on one of our tours to Paris, we danced George Balanchine's Who Cares?. At the end of the show there was a bit of a show down between the audience members who loved the ballet, and those who didn't. We continued to bring up the curtain as the "boo'ers" and the "cheere'rs" tried to outdo each other. It was fascinating and thankfully, the reviews were raves for the company.

Besides the performances, there are the marvels of experiencing a new place and of coming away with unforgettable memories. I'll never forget our first tour to Copenhagen where we danced in a theater in the Tivoli Gardens, which is an amusement park in the center of the city. After our last show, the park closed to the public but was kept going for us as we ran around from ride to ride in the twinkling lights and in a light rain, which made no difference at all. In Paris, we were also treated to an exclusive lunch at Claude Monet's house! It was extraordinary to wander through that garden almost by myself and to see the actual spaces and colors that I had only seen in paintings.

Oh, there are so many stories, I could go on forever! I am so delighted for this next generation that will get the chance to make memories and stories for themselves. I am also quite happy that in my new capacity, I get to tag along too!