Doesn’t every little girl at one time or another dream of being a prima ballerina? Even though 99% of the time I was a cowboy hat and holster-toting die-hard tomboy, there was a moment or two – all because I read a biography of ballerina Margot Fonteyn – that I dreamt of gracefully gliding across the floor, pirouetting on my tippy-toes in my little tutu. The fantasy didn’t last long, the call of a game of handball or a tree to climb pushing it to the back of my brain.
To be honest, the thought of spending hours at a ballet performance makes me yawn. Still, I do enjoy watching it for a few minutes, even though I have no idea what story the dancers are trying to tell.
In my quest to do at least one new thing every year, last week I did something I never thought I’d do. I took a beginner ballet class. Not because I thought I’d ever be able to dance like Pavolva or Barishnykov, but more because I thought it might increase my flexibility, since mine seems to have disappeared. I thought it would be fun, and since it was geared to mature :cough: ladies, I thought, how hard can it be?
Man. Ballet. Is. Hard. The instructors make it look simple. First position. Easy, right? Uh â€¦ no. My feet don’t go in opposite directions. And getting to fifth position – do they not realize the legs are not made to twist into a pretzel without dislocating something???
Plie, battement, glissade. Words I’d never heard before, and movements that were impossible for my body. I could practically hear
my muscles screaming “I don’t think so.” Grace and elegance – not even a tiny bit. We’re talking baby elephant in the room.
The instructor did say I had great balance, but my rondes de jambe a terre needed a little work. Since I had no idea what he was talking about, I wasn’t sure whether to be flattered or insulted
Still, I enjoyed it, and so I’ll go back for more punishment this week, unless my hips are still disjointed from last time.
Have you tried anything new lately?