by the Ethan bug! Yes, I’ve repeatedly rolled my eyes at friends for falling for his goofy macheesmo motorcycle-riding ballet boy in Center Stage, for swooning right out of their seats over his simple (non-dancing) self-introduction at the start of Stiefel & Stars; I’ve shrugged my shoulders at his macho motorcycle-riding real self in Born To Be Wild (Jose‘s cuter and more interesting, being from the forbidden land, I thought), and his ceiling-high assemble during which he beat his feet together more times than I could count at ABT’s Met gala last year (pshaw, David can do that, I declared… well… almost). No one could understand my offensive nonchalance, my dumbfounding indifference, my mentally ill resistance to Ethan-infatuation. No, they couldn’t understand me, and I certainly couldn’t understand them.
Well, all that changed last night when I spotted him in the audience at the New Ballet program at Columbia University’s Miller Theater. (I’ll write about this very soon, along with the tap dancing rock concert, Revolution, which I saw at the Joyce in Chelsea Thursday night). He was watching the new ballets a couple of rows behind me, with Damian Woetzel. He had his hair all fashionably brushed forward and it looked like he had some highlights put in (yes, he has blonde hair to begin with, but his hair now seems to be different shades of blonde). He was just kind of sitting there flashing his cocked little half-smile at everyone who looked at him, seemingly slightly self-conscious about all the attention, but not in a shy way, if that makes any sense at all. At intermission, he got up and politely shook hands with some people, and when he sat down again I saw an older man — obviously a fan — approach him and ask him the obvious — was he coming back to the stage this Fall?? With a sad, wistful look in his eyes, he shrugged his shoulders and looked down at his knees. As they continued to talk, his cute cocked half-smile slowly returned. I could see him telling the man, “thank you.” Something about it was just so sweetly endearing. He just looked so handsome and forlorn. And I don’t know how to explain it, but something happened. I saw flashing lights. The skies opened. I saw what every other woman on the planet has seen. Right then and there I fell head over heels. I am in love with Ethan Stiefel! I am normal! All I could think about on my subway ride home was how I have to see him do that assemble again — soon! I almost even watched Center Stage again but then came to my senses I’ll wait for City Center.