Wannabe Dancer

An adult’s discovery of dance of all sorts.

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Location: Sacramento, California, United States

A bona-fide cat lady, homebody, wanna-be writer, and faux extrovert. If I'm not gardening, I'm rehearsing for a local theater production.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Two Left Feet

I took no dance classes as a child. However, that did not deter me from declaring, in 6th grade, that I wanted to be an astronaut, rock star or a ballerina when I grew up. In retrospect, I’m surprised by my last choice. I had never even seen a ballerina other than the tiny plastic figure that spun in my musical jewelry box. Perhaps I had a premonition of the dance obsession that was to grip me in the future.

Having little coordination, my early forays into dance were highly embarrassing. My friend Jen was aghast that I couldn’t master the Roger Rabbit. I was completely lost during the dance portion of auditions for My Fair Lady. I wore holes through the soles of my pantyhose in a vain attempt to learn the Charleston. My two left feet were so bad that I couldn’t even follow a step aerobics class; my friends literally fell off their benches laughing at me. I went off to college, being able to do nothing more than the standard teenage writhing to rock music.

In college, I shared a dorm room with a total stranger, Beth from Seattle. She was a slender girl with a cloud of red curls and a background in cheer and dance. Beth decorated her half of the dorm room with ballet posters featuring images of disintegrating pointe shoes and little girls in technicolor tutus. Intrigued, I asked her to show me some ballet. She assumed first position and began a series of plies. I was absolutely enchanted. She moved like a dream. Her motions were liquid and graceful, yet full of strength. She probably ended after only a few plies, embarrassed by my gawking, but I only remember her endless smooth bends and proud carriage. It didn’t take me long to learn that our school had a beginning ballet class. I enrolled in my first class, that winter, at eighteen.

I’d like to say that my story continues with my dazzling ascent into ballet stardom, but it does not. Despite continuing to take dance classes for the last eleven years, I remain an amateur. I began too late to develop the necessary musculature and flexibility required for professional work. However, that did not keep me from developing a passion for ballet, and, later, other forms of dance. I intend to keep on dancing, for myself, if not for the public. If I could go back in time, I’d tell my 6th grade self that I did, in fact, become a ballerina.


Blogger Dancer said...

Alas! A fellow ballet lover! Our stories are similar. I love dance so much I almost cried when I read this post. I'll stop there before I get weird.

I hope your class opens up and that you are able to advance in dance...

9:20 AM  
Blogger Fia said...

I say that same thing!: If I could go back and kick my younger butt for not taking dance with my sister because I thought it was too girly, I would. My life would be much different, because I might have pursued it professionally.

But, alas, I didn't start dancing until 19 and even though I have now been dancing for almost 10 years with a few breaks here and there, it takes so much longer than a young girl to mold my body in order to perform the movements with ease and grace. And even then, I am not halfway to where I want to be.

But I will not stop dancing. I can't because I have reconciled it with myself that even if I am not the best dancer, I am a dancer. It's in me, because I don't go a day without thinking about it or even performing a little move here or there while cooking lunch or waiting for the bus, etc. :)

10:15 AM  
Blogger Susu said...

I love ballet, I've been doing ballet since I was five, and I have some words of wisdom for you. I have friends who joined my dance class late, but they are still beautiful ballerinas. It's never too late, and I'm glad you're not giving up. Most people give up when they have almost reached sucess. Hopefully ballet and other forms of dance open a whole new world for you.

8:39 PM  

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