I’m moving to Sweden! (slash, moved to Sweden. As of a couple weeks ago).
I was offered a contract at Royal Swedish Ballet (aka Kungliga Baletten) for the 18-19 season back in March and I didn’t share this Big News on expatballerina yet because, while travel and change is fun, it’s important to stay present. It didn’t seem fair to my French experience to start focusing on Sweden while I still had some months left there. Also because I sort of half believed I was dreaming the whole thing up.
Because living here really is a dream.
I must say that I do feel somewhat guilty for leaving France so soon. One season is not a lot of time to get to know a company or indeed a city or country. And yet. When I listened very quietly and carefully to my inner voice I knew that it was not the right place for me. Sometimes giving more time to a place that you aren’t completely satisfied with will ultimately pay off and you will find your place in it. And other times you just need to set sail. As a dancer who’s not young anymore (dancers live dog-years), I knew I needed to go. I needed to find a place where I am fulfilled and inspired by the company, the dancers, the city in the remaining years of this precious and short career.
Living and dancing in Sweden will bring it’s own challenges, I know that (hello winter). It’s a much larger company that I ever considered dancing in before. It won’t be perfect and I will complain (because that’s what dancers do) and I will be cold and I will still miss my three-legged one-eyed dog. But for right now- ever since I got the contract, I have been so giddy and happy, and at awkward moments I feel like I have giggles bouncing around inside of me and so walk around the grocery store with a dopey grin on my face- full of gratitude and disbelief at my good luck, humming that tune from Hamilton “Look at where you are, look at where you started.”
Whether or not I will stay here one year or ten will remain to be seen. For right now I will embrace the beauty of Sweden, the lagom and the fikas, the glittering water seemingly everywhere, the gorgeous Opera that is older than my own country, and I will bask in the joy of hoping.