Who knew at the age of 49 that I would begin an artistic journey. I gathered up the courage, supported by friends to enroll in an adult ballet class at Jackson School of the Arts. To put it kindly, my body is far, far, far from representing that dancer image. My line, as dancers say, is not straight, having to jump over many curves. Nonetheless, I have beautiful memories of a little 8 year old girl, going to ballet class with her sister and loving the smell of the ballet shoes and the sweet sounds of classical music. Wanting to capture a bit of the feeling that children have to experience everything life has to offer, I committed myself to ballet class.
My first call was to the instructor to discuss the dress code. I could not see myself in a leotard and tights at my age and physique. So, yoga pants and t-shirt I could do. I found myself getting super excited about purchasing ballet shoes. Yes, that smell is still there. I showed up to class and discovered one other woman was taking the class with me. No hiding in the back of the room for me. How pleasantly surprised I was to discover she shared the same feelings as I did about taking the class. Life presented her with challenges too and this ballet class was a way to combat being a responsible adult and do something for herself.
Our instructor, a young, beautiful dancer who is incredibly flexible, was so kind and encouraging. We went through the basics and both of us were giddy with excitement as we succeeded in our first challenge – ballet positions. The music started, my feet and arms moved and if I closed my eyes so as to not look at myself in the mirrors I felt like that 8 year old girl again. Then the barre came out and I knew this was the place for me. Who cares what I look like, or that I couldn’t really jump as high as I’d like to. For my first class, I had succeed by just walking in the door. By the end of the hour our instructor almost convinced us to participate in the year-end recital. I can’t wait for next week. You can still sign up for the class. Come and join me at the barre!