I have seen every one of my female colleagues naked. I've seen most of them in tears and also in fits of silliness. I've seen them struggle with injury and transcend pain. I've traveled with them, confided in them, admired them, gotten annoyed with them. Many of them have known me through five years of growth. They've seen me through insecurities and disappointments and my best moments of grace. Sure, we rub each other the wrong way sometimes. We're not all best friends. But a shared understanding and love for our art form binds us in a way that is separate from friendship and greater than competition. When we share the stage, we are witnessing each other at our most vulnerable and our most bad-ass-ly beautiful. This is what we do for each other. 

 Ladies of the Joffrey Ballet in John Neumeier's  Sylvia.  Photo by Cheryl Mann.

Ladies of the Joffrey Ballet in John Neumeier's Sylvia. Photo by Cheryl Mann.