By Jamie Hickey, Ballet West Dancer
Hello Chicago! It is so wonderful to see you again!
What can I say? Being back in this incredible city and performing at the Auditorium Theatre again is flooding me with so many emotions.
I moved to Chicago in 2009 to join Yhe Joffrey Ballet. As most of you know, the Auditorium is The Joffrey’s home theatre. I had grown so comfortable in this space and so in love with it. There is a vast amount of beauty and intricacy in the architecture of the theatre and when you step out on that stage it brings the energy of the performance to the next level. I had many career milestones right on this very stage from my very first real company performance to my very first solo role and pas de deux. These moments will forever be in my heart.
When I accepted the offer from Ballet West to perform in their production of The Sleeping Beauty this season, which would include a tour to Chicago, I could not turn it down. As much as I wanted to find a new company to dance with, it was certainly hard to leave the Auditorium Theatre and all of the memories I have made there. Now I get to make another memory right here on the Auditorium stage. I am beginning a new chapter and tomorrow night I will have my first performance with Ballet West.
Ballet West has been so welcoming to me since I joined just one month ago.  They are a company of beautiful artists who are inspiring me each day I am with them.
When I arrived back at the theatre a few days ago to begin rehearsals, I was giddy. Walking through the alley to get to the stage door, it felt like I was coming home. I have to admit, I get a kick out of everyone who is trying to figure out their way around all of the yellow doors separating the dressing room hallways and am glad I know my way.   Haha.  It was also comforting to see some familiar faces among the stage crew and wardrobe staff, who all welcomed me back with open arms.
So tomorrow night I will make my return to the Auditorium Stage as one of Aurora’s Friends, a member of the Hunting Party, and a Nymph. I do have some butterflies to perform again for my friends and supporters of the ballet who I know well, but I can’t wait to get out on that Auditorium stage and perform. 
Chicago, I hope you enjoy this weekend with Ballet West!
For tickets and information please click HERE.