After a little bit of encouragement from my dear friend Suzanne and a lot of delusion on my part, I decided to take an adult ballet class at the Pacific NW Ballet School. I even have special shoes and stockings. But no leotard. (I can't see that happening.)
Last night was my first class and, for the record, I have never taken ballet before. When I was a pre-teen, I took modern dance so I know the difference between a Plié & a Relevé and what the 5 positions are, but the nuance and familiarity with this art form stops there. Having turned to cheerleading as a high school sophomore, I effectively killed my dance aspirations, because we all know that cheerleaders are "dancers gone retarded." As a former professional dancer and now instructor of this class, Suzanne is amazing to watch. Grace, accuracy, strength and years of discipline plus a compassionate demeanor make her a perfect teacher. And that's really important--teaching an adult open class that anyone at any level can take. As for me, I felt 10-years-old again looking around the room and sizing myself up against the other dancers. Then we started and I realized how ridiculous it was to get competitive. Especially since I am out of shape and practice for something so physically precise & demanding, my flower-patterned yoga top did not aid in my mission of becoming invisible and blending into the wall either. Quite the opposite really.
My method of learning dance is by watching and mimicking, so I would stare at a dancer in-front of me or at one in a side mirror as we did quick pointing of toes in-out and leg lifts up-down. And because I was watching other people, I simply hoped my legs were doing the things I wanted them to do. Today, my legs are sore, but I like it. Feels like they did something significant even as "unnatural" as ballet...take fifth position for instance.
Funny thing about hitting the 30's I've noticed: muscles don't always respond like they used to. And catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror from time to time--AYE! Definitely not my "A" game. But I've got my dancing shoes and I intend to use them.