This morning at breakfast we were going over schedules and plans for the next couple of days and Daniela's plans, unsurprisingly, include activities with other ballerinas. This led to Asun and I briefly reminiscing about some of the many young dancers who have come and gone over the past several years. Some were very talented girls who, for one reason or another, stopped dancing. And that got me thinking about how improbable the course of our lives are, regardless of the direction they take. Is a life ever really predictable? Our time here can unfold in so many different ways, or so it seems. Yes, no doubt one can quickly slide into fruitless ponderations on fate, will, etc. How do we end up where we end up? Yesterday a former professional dancer who I recently met asked me if Daniela was going to be a professional ballerina. How should I know? How can she know? First, other interests, other passions, may emerge. Current passions can fade. And even if the goal remains, our most hoped for results very often do not materialize. And as Daniela pointed out recently, status and success at CPYB is not, as the investment people warn us, "a guarantee of future performance." Or something like that. This is certainly true. On the other hand, yesterday I received the Winter Season brochure from NY City Ballet and glancing at the page that lists the company members I found myself checking off some of the names, "CPYB, CPYB, CPYB, CPYB..." There are several. More interestingly, and an endearing example of how, sometimes, an improbable path can play out in a hoped for way, was the story I read about ballerina Tina LeBlanc, a CPYB alumna, on the occasion of her farewell gala at San Francisco Ballet. What a career! And what a ballerina: she visited CPYB a few years ago and Daniela got to perform before her on the same program. So I got to see her dance for five or ten minutes, but that was enough: sometimes beauty is such that it can just about make you faint if you have not already been overcome by tears. There's a word for that... Anyway, she is no doubt one of the world's great ballerinas, and a real inspiration for Daniela. And a beautiful story. Read the article from the LA Times. (In the photo, a final curtain call from Tina LeBlanc.)

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