Mother’s Day with Lauren Fadeley
This past year has profoundly impacted us all. Mothers everywhere have kept dancing through grief, isolation and injustice with strength and grace. This Mother’s Day we celebrate moms by honoring MCB principal soloist Lauren Fadeley, who welcomed her adorable daughter Lucy to the world just 10 months ago.
They say nothing can ever truly prepare you for motherhood, but as it turns out, ballet has prepared Lauren far more than expected. As a dancer, she was already accustomed to having mentally and physically exhausting days and late nights that come with the territory of being a new mom.
But there was also an unforeseen bonus, “I have spent a lot of my career sitting on the floor either stretching, putting on pointe shoes, or watching rehearsals, so it’s not much different to playing with or crawling after a child. I can’t tell you how many grand pliés I do a day to pick up Lucy, toys or a thrown piece of food!”
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Motherhood is filled with surprises but what has surprised her most is the complete change in perspective, “Lucy has taught me so much about myself and motivates me to be a better person every day, for her. Things that once caused a lot of stress just don’t matter as much because she is so important. Seeing the world through her eyes as she grows and learns makes me slow down and appreciate things for how they are,” she shares.
Letting go of the rigid structure that comes with maintaining a professional career has had its challenges. There’s not enough time to cross-train, sleeping in and spending extra time in the studio is a thing of the past. But the biggest challenge by far has been having to surrender the ideal of being as close to perfect as possible, something to which all dancers ascribe.
“As a mom, I’ve had to relinquish the idea of perfection and just be grateful for when we are all clean and fed,” she jokingly admits.
While becoming a mother during a pandemic is difficult, to say the least, it was not without some silver linings. Lauren appreciates the extra time she and her husband Francis (Veyette) had to spend getting to know Lucy on their own. Because COVID restricted visitors and travel, she had extra time to ease into a new routine at home. And, coming back to ballet was a little less intense because everyone had been off for just as long, “so we were all slowly working at coming back together.”
Fun fact: Lauren’s first day back from maternity leave was everyone’s first day back to rehearsals.
Lucy’s first time seeing her mom perform was George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® in the Park. Because the performance was during the day, and the performance outside, she could actually see her in the audience. “It was during 2019’s Nutcracker that I told everyone I was pregnant and the following year, for her to be there in the audience, was such a magical full-circle moment.”
Lauren’s first Mother’s Day also happens to be her birthday. To celebrate, Lauren, her husband, and Lucy will be spending time with Lauren’s parents in Palm Beach for some fun in the sun.
Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Birthday, Lauren. Thank you for sharing your story with us!
Photos courtesy of Lauren Fadeley.