When I was a wee girl (before the “gift” of puberty), I was a ballerina. I LOVED ballet – my dad installed a barre in our house for me to practice, and I had the pale pink leotard and tights – I think there even was a tutu.
When I went into whatever level of ballet where you get a mean German male teacher who yells at you for not knowing your left from right, I didn’t last long. I still have to take a beat to remember my left from right – it is just a thing with me. My dad does a great impersonation of the poor befuddled teacher saying “I do not mean to make ze little girlz cry!”
Shortly after that my mom enrolled me in acting classes, and I enjoyed that for the next 12+ years, so I am ok. But a part of me always missed ballet. I didn’t understand why lithe, talented girls would shake their butts to crap music when they could be pointeing and tutuing instead.
When SD was wee, I made a futile attempt to get her interested in ballet (see round peg, square hole) and was unjustifiably sad when she wasn’t interested.
Fastforward to this summer when I watched a reality show about ballet dancers. The reality show of it made me cringe, but the ballet was amazing – and I yearned to be spending 10 hours a day perfecting my ballet craft. I decided then and there that I would watch ballet in KC as much as I could. Which led me to the Kansas City Ballet website… where I discovered their Studio Classes.
I had my first ballet class and absolutely loved it – and here are all the reasons why.
1. My worst fear – that I would be twice the weight of everybody else in the class – came true, and I survived. Most of the thin girls probably didn’t even notice me. Some of the tiny dancers were probably judgy of my excess – but who gives a fuck if they were?
2. The teacher is a *real* ballerina. She is very pretty and friendly and welcoming.
3. Ballet has rules. And even though we are beginners and not 8, the teacher makes us follow the rules – I love that.
4. Thin people are fallible. I made mistakes – so did some of the thin women – and the teacher corrected both of us. If you have ever been a fat person in an exercise class full of thin people and been treated as if you were special needs, you will know why this means so much to me.
5. I love my ballet shoes.
6. I only confused my right and left once – and nobody yelled at me in German.
7. I am pretty good for being 38 and not taking a dance class in a bazillion years.
8. The class is at the lovely Todd Bolender Center for Dance – with exposed brick walls and big windows that look into KC.
9. I got a good workout – one downside is that in Ballet class, it seems there are no water breaks.
10. We did running leaps!! So fun and wonderful – just like we did when I was in ballet many years ago.