You know the old adage about ballet being hard - but I can tell you it's even harder to go without. Staying at home, watching the clock, knowing there's a ballet class about to start that should have my name on it. Which is why I leave the house at the same time, and take refuge on my favorite trail by the shore. At first, my body still feels the rhythm of class, the tendus and pliés like a missing limb. I walk fast and let the sea breeze clear my head. I let the waves wash over fondues and battements, over barre and center. Before I'm half-way, I'm no longer miserable. There's a whole world outside of class, and it has the power to lift my spirits just as much as dance does. As long as I let go - for the time being.
I know I could eventually adapt to a life without dancing. Hey, I never danced for the first 21 years of my life - and those were some good times! Ballet is not my reason for living, and it is not my sole joie de vivre. There are more layers to me than tights and ballet skirts. Having said that, let me tell you this: I'm not going to give up dancing - ever. I can adjust to less class time. It just makes the anticipation for the remaining hours that much sweeter. Almost like waiting for Christmas, week after week. I can accept, albeit grudgingly, that there's going to be a (temporary) setback in my progress. I can live with stiffer muscles and less bounce in my jumps. It's not the best case scenario, but we don't always get what we want.
This has been my first week with seriously less dance. You might wonder why it's such a big deal to me, but the thing is I don't know how temporary this arrangement is. Do I get my old dancing life back next month or next year? But I've done okay. Jogging along my trail, I've let my mind wander freely - something you can't do in class! Funny though, more often than not, my head's been occupied with all things dance. I might think about a correction I got last time - how I should never mark with my hands when doing a pirouette on pointe. Must turn full out, in the correct position. Or I might savour the cool praise I got some weeks ago, about being "powerful". Or how awesome it would be to finally nail a clean triple turn, right in front of Madame... You can take the dancer out of class, but you can't take the class out of the dancer!
This evening it's class time again - and I'm already buzzed about it!
|It's a barre - what else are you supposed to do with it?|