THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT MYSELF AND OTHERS FROM MY ADULT BALLET FOR BEGINNERS CLASS
I have always loved dance and have felt, on more than one occasion, that I may have missed my calling. Unfortunately I am too old and it's too late for me to become the prima ballerina of my dreams. Or is it?
- •I love balletDegas dancer screensaver (check), tulle skirts paired with tank top and ballet sweater (check), too many pairs of sweet little ballet flats to count (check check check)
- •I'm a dancer at heartSort of. I mean, I did take ballet lessons from ages 5-9 (that counts right?) I have also been asked if I'm a dancer on several occasions (does it matter that I was wearing the tulle skirt?)
- •I'm a dreamer AND a doerand am so lucky to have found this ballet for beginners class for adults. This is the first day of the rest of my ballet life (cue visions of myself with ripped dancer legs and arms sweating and stretching and tending to my blistered toes and loving every minute of it)
- •But I'm not the only oneThe other ladies in the class are not fucking around. They too are here to live out their unfulfilled childhood dreams and have no time for my nonsense. They do not react to my smiles and exclamations of excitement. This. Is. Not. A. Game.
- •I am humanAnd not a young human. Dancing is beautiful and cathartic and moving and HARD. My knees are the first to succumb, with my thighs, calves and arms tying for second. I pep talk myself and try to summon up my earlier vision of graceful hardworking dancer me. My brain revolts with images of panting sweating muscle cramping dying me.
- •I'm dyingMy muscles are literally vibrating and not in a good "body electric" kind of way.
- •No one caresThe other ladies sneer at me as I struggle to remain in an upright position (let alone grand plié in unison with the group) I understand now. They've seen my kind before, a starry eyed adult who thinks they have what it takes. But they never do.They were aloof because they knew better than to get attached. I was a dead girl twirling.
- •I am a quitterTwo lessons. That was the beginning and end of my adult ballet life.
- •I love balletIn theory.