Archive | January 2012

a Spirit-led conversation

So out of the blue, and I do mean out the blue, because we weren’t talking about anything ballet related, my husband told me that I would be dancing on stage someday.

Say what?

So a conversation ensued and he said things that  just are not in his vocabulary, so it was obvious to me his words were Spirit-led.
me: But don’t you think the whole idea of me dancing in public is ridiculous?? (not that I think this; I just thought he would think it.)
him: Oh, no. Not at all. You’d love it!
me: But won’t you be embarrassed with your wife on stage?
him: No, I think it would be great.
me: One of my strong hesitations is for the audience’ sake. I don’t want to be that person that makes people cringe and causes them to look away and can’t wait until the song is over…
him: Do you trust Miss (beautiful ballet teacher?) She wouldn’t put you in that kind of position, where you would do anything embarrassing like that.
me: I know. I do trust her…I just didn’t think it would be so soon. I have imagined myself dancing someday in the future and I’ve always seen myself dancing to a song about heaven. And guess what this song is about?
him: It sounds like God is really leading you to do this now.
(this is the kind of thing that my husband never says!)
him: You should do it. You would love it and have fun.

Wow, to have my husband’s approval and even encouragement in this endeavor is huge. And I didn’t even have to ask him; he brought it up.

I’m definitely moving in the direction of dancing this March. I sent Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher an e-mail to see her thoughts on all of this.

what do you know that i don’t know?

So we have a lot more people in our Saturday morning beginner class. I mean it more than doubled in size this January. We have 3 teens who are all  timid and sweet and thin and flexible, unlike yours truly. ahem. I am none of those things–maybe a little sweet, but I’m not so timid, thin or flexible.

Several adults have also joined. And when I say adults, I’m not referring to 18 and 22 year olds. I’m talking over 30, over 40 just like me. Some of them seem to have a dance background, maybe a long long time ago, but it’s still there.

Today when we were dancing across the floor, Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher divided us into two groups of five. I made sure I was behind Miss Experienced. I kept repositioning herself and myself so that I would be able to see her movement each time. The others–all newbies to our class this month–noticed and asked me what I was doing. And I said,

She knows what she’s doing. I need to watch her. She even does the performances.

Well, Miss Experienced turned around and informed me that I was doing the performance too. I don’t know what memo she got, but it sure wasn’t the one that I sent out!

I was at a meeting a week ago and there was some performance talk and when one of the song titles came up, I thought, now that’s a song I would like to dance to…but I got the impression it was for the upper level dancers. You know, the ones en pointe who have been dancing for at least 10 years, so I forgot about it and thought I am going to loooooove watching them perform this song, and I had better pack the handkerchiefs!

Back to today in class: “What did Miss Ballet Teacher tell you? and What do you know that I don’t know?” But then we had to move across the floor ourselves, and so we didn’t have a chance to finish our conversation. I was hoping to catch her after class, but she was staying for the next session and didn’t come out to leave.

oh well.

It is a song that makes me cry sometimes. A song that just makes me wistful. A song sung at a funeral of one of my friends…a song whose lyrics get inside my head and want to come out as an expression of worship.

I can only imagine dancing to this song.

We shall see.

a compliment

So I’m an adult beginner when it comes to ballet or any type of dance for that matter and I’ve recently started attending a class open to any level of adults, but it’s really for the teens who have reached level IV. I go and do my thing and I try not to think about what these crazy-good dancing young things are thinking.

What are these moms doing in our class who can’t even dance? Who does she think she is anyway?

Do I really think that the girls are thinking such thoughts? No, not to that extent… Our particular studio fosters an atmosphere of only encouragement and never competition, but still.

So it just really made my day that when Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher was switching out the music, that Most Advanced Teenager said to me, “I’m so glad that I get to be in class with you.”

What? Did she really say that? What an absolute doll she is. And she has been so encouraging to me, telling me “Good job” or when I look hesitant, she whispers a “You can try it.”

This class is going to be ok afterall.

no way! ask me later

So Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher asked me if I was going to do the performance. I about choked and giggled.

Uh, no. ask me later (in like a year or more from now.)

She told me I might change my mind when I saw the costume. yeah, right. A beautiful flowing dress that might make other people look like an angel on stage isn’t going to change my mind.

I don’t know. I want to do it…someday.  I just don’t think I can be ready in 7 weeks. When I watch others dance, I love watching them.  When kids make mistakes, it’s cute. When an adult or even a teen is less than graceful, it’s almost painful to watch. And I don’t want to be a pain to watch. I want to bless people, not make them cringe, not have them sitting uncomfortable in their seats, just waiting for the song to be over.

I long to dance so that I know the song so well, the choreography so well, that I move one with the music so that I don’t have to think so hard about the movement. I see others do it; that’s how I want to dance…from deep within. This doesn’t necessarily mean flawless or perfect, just with feeling. My soul has been touched with the dance and the message, and I want to transfer that to those watching.  Is it an impossible dream?

In class, just following along with the simple steps is such an effort. I haven’t gotten past the blundering of even the most basic of movements.

finally wearing leotard and tights

So I told you that before I started my conditioning class, I ordered a leotard and skirt. After I placed the order, then I asked the teacher what  others in the class wear. It doesn’t matter that everywhere on her website and paperwork it says that the dress code applies to all classes. It turns out it doesn’t actually apply to the conditioning class.  People wear yoga gear or t-shirts.

I’ve been wearing my ballet slippers all along, but  never did wear that leotard and skirt to class.

until 2 weeks ago

I wanted to add another day to my exercise routine, so I asked Miss Beautiful Ballet Teacher if I could come on another night. She said, yes, but to realize that it was ballet ballet. Yeah, I hadn’t deluded myself into thinking it was something other than real ballet. I mainly want to go for the barre work. Anytime I try to move across the floor, doing specific steps, I blunder and lumber.  Nothing graceful about my movement.

It’s a class with a few teens and 3 other adults.

I decided if I’m going to take a real ballet class, I should look the part. I put on my pink tights and leotard with some pants. The pants are an unsuccessful attempt at hiding my thighs and derriere.   Not quite ready for wearing the skirt. Gotta psyche myself up more for that one.

i’m a ballet junkie

So I’ve become a ballet junkie the last couple of years. My daughter dances and seems like a natural. Everyone who has seen her dance tells me that too.  I usually stay and watch her class because the girls are just so darn cute, and I love the way the teacher teaches. She’s gifted with children; I’ve learned a lot just by observing her gently guide those girls into shape.

I love going to ballets, watching ballerinas of all ages and abilities. I get caught up in the music and the movement. I’m watching every dance TV show and movie through Netflix watch instantly.  Anyone have any suggestions?

And I’ve recently discovered there’s lots of adult out there taking ballet for the first time just like me. Or maybe, they’ve taken 10-40 years off ballet and have started dancing again. And they’re blogging about it. And I love reading their stories, because their thoughts are my thoughts and I love reading all the comments.

Who knew there are dozens, maybe hundreds of old ladies like me who are dying to dance, yet don’t want to appear too eager,so they wait for years to actually work up the nerve to walk into a studio.  But they’re doing it; I’m doing it. I’m taking ballet.

what is conditioning anyway?

So I was looking into ballet for my daughter and I came across a class at one of the studios in town called, “conditioning.” It was for ages 12 and up and it sounded like an exercise class that I might be interested in. I thought I might get a little intro to dance without taking an actual dance class.

Except, oh no! Step on the brakes. Dress code required for all classes which involved pink tights, slippers and a black leotard.  No way was this fat mama going anywhere in a leotard in a room with mirrors on 3 sides and other people in the room.

Time passed. I signed up my daughter for 12 week session after 12 week session and the conditioning class was still looming large on the website and on the registration form. I really wanted to know more, but was afraid to ask the teacher because I didn’t want her to know of any potential interest on my part. After reading other blogs by others who started ballet as adults, I have discovered that I am not alone with this sentiment.

I finally tacked my question onto the end of an e-mail about other stuff. I asked my daughter’s ballet teacher if she could tell me more about the conditioning class sometime before 2013.  I got an immediate, lengthy response from her and it sounded exactly what I wanted. I decided to take the class, despite the dresscode. There was no way I was going into the local dance store to buy my digs. I mean seriously, would they even carry a leotard in my size? And there was no way I was going to try on ballet shoes as if I was actually a ballerina.

So I went online and ordered a black leotard, skirt, and ballet slippers; I founds tights on clearance when I was getting tights for my little miss. phew. I was committed to trying it out and I wanted to follow the rules and dress the part.  That was about 9 months ago.

i’ve always wanted to dance

I’m forty-something. I’ve always wanted to dance but never have. I dragged my husband to a free ballroom class once and it was such a horrible experience that we didn’t go back for the second class even though that one would have been no charge as well.  ugh.  The first 5 or 10 minutes were ok because the instructor took it slowly.  Maybe he thought I caught on or something because then he started moving faster and faster and adding more steps. HELP. STOP. SLOW DOWN. I can’t do this. Please slow down.  Oh well.

That was a really long time ago.

So I told you I’ve always wanted to dance; I’ve just never had the opportunity to or at least never had the guts.  Country line dancing.  Salsa. Ballroom. Irish. Square. Whatever. I didn’t care, just as long as it was dance.  But ballet had never crossed my mind…until nearly 2 years ago…