Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Ballet never really left me.
I shared how I was inspired to begin ballet (thanks to salsa!), but not how my senior year of high school, I quit ballet, right before graduation, mostly because I realized I would never go pro--I had previously chosen to be delusional--and because I was finishing the school year early, to go to the states and see Lizzie graduate from college (then go to Disney World and celebrate my own graduation).
I had loads of homework every night, and since I had given up on becoming a ballerina, I decided to focus on school.
I quit suddenly, so my teacher called me at home and said she understood I was preparing for university but since I had been improving so much, she hoped I would practice at home until I found lessons in America.
I cherished that phone call--the fact that my ballet teacher, a gorgeous, austere, and intimidating woman, called me, wished me well, and complimented my progress still makes me smile.
I'm beaming right now.
And wishing I hadn't quit.
ANYWAY, fast forward to my freshmen year of college: I went to a Baptist school that offered ZERO dance lessons--dancing is as bad as playing drums, didn't you know? ;)--but the public university across the street offered modern, jazz, and ballet. The teacher had an open door policy and allowed any student to come to any class at any time, regardless of enrollment status, which is SUPER awesome in theory but...
I did not relate well to her teaching style, which was to let you teach yourself. This might be cool if you've been taking dance for, like, a ba-zillion years, but not cool--not cool at all--if you have limited experience, like me.
She would say things like, "I'm not the kind of teacher who is going to pull your leg over your head. You have to do the work yourself."
I can get down with that--to an extent. Of course the student does the work. The teacher can't dance for you. But I did not care whether or not she pulled my leg over my head. I just wanted someone to explain the technique and break down the steps. I wanted someone to TEACH me.
Funny thing is that I really liked her--she was a kind person and a talented dancer. Maybe she was not accustuomed to teaching beginners? Either way, I wasn't learning ANYTHING.
I was seriously flailing around like a bird with clipped wings.
I was miserable every class--not to mention that the classes were overflowing with loud, expressive theater majors. Not that I had anything against theater majors, but they seemed to come from a different world, if you know what I mean? It's sort of like the English and theater departments were on different planets, but the theater majors crossed over occasionally to take Shakespeare and then we just stared at each other awkwardly.
I took three semesters of dance, mostly modern, and a few extra ballet classes, but I wasn't really feeling it.
I was devastated. I wanted to try a local studio, but I didn't own a car and asking a friend to drop me off and pick me up from ballet would have been a little embarrassing to me, not to mention a lot to ask of a person.
Fast forward to my senior year: I got engaged (yay!), and after graduation, I worked in retail to save money for The Wedding (which was lovely and deserves capital letters). I didn't have the time or funding for ballet, but when my store was empty, I danced in front of the mirrors and practiced releves behind the register.
I'm crazy. I know.
But ballet never really left me.
After the wedding, I was a part time freelance writer and Damian was in school, so I had plenty of time for ballet but no cash. I started blogging--mostly because I was bored out of my mind and blogging is free. I also danced around my house, because the fever--the ballet fever--had returned in full force. I had an itch, a tick. Call it what you will. I yearned for ballet.
Eventually, Damian graduated and started working full time, so now, we are now made of money (ha!), and I am back in ballet! Hurray!
And I love my class (though I've only been twice so far).
Gosh-golly-gee, I've already written quite a lot, haven't I? And tomorrow is Thursday (Ballet Day), so I think it's fitting if I tell you all about my new lessons...
I'm such a tease, aren't I? :)