Saturday, October 31, 2009

Hold Me Closer, Not-So-Tiny Dancer

At some point during the last month, I decided to make some changes. As many of you know, I recently turned 30 and, well, I didn't want to be the frumpy 30-something career gal who stays home with her cats all the time. (NO comments from the peanut gallery on that one!)

Instead, I wanted to be the person I'd always thought I'd be as I got older: poised, put together, purposeful. And not least of all, curious enough to learn new things whenever such opportunities presented themselves.

Which lead me to make a few changes. Contacts and a haircut topped the list right off the bat. Having not revealed my eyes outside of thick-ish lenses for nearly half a decade, applying mascara and eye liner was quite a jolt to me and, apparently, to all I came in contact with. "Wow! Your eyes are gorgeous!" I hadn't heard that in ages and I'm not too proud to say it felt nice to receive vanity-based compliments.

More long-term goals emerged:
  • Create an apartment worthy of a magazine, yet not so cozy that I never want to leave. (You can view my ongoing attempts here.)
  • Reconnect with some people form my past who I parted on not ideal terms. Somehow, as adults, the petty squabbles of the past seem irrelevant and even silly.
  • Do something that takes me so far freakin' out of my comfort zone that I'm forced to change my being not only mentally, but physically.
It is this last goal that found me standing in front of a full-wall mirror, ballet-shoes on my feet (size 14, natch) - a barre under my right palm - with11 other sweaty, slightly clumsy adult in a beginning dance class. Now mind you, I never had designs on being a ballerina as a child. I was more interested in stuffing my little sister into a hand-made cradle so as to recount the litany of diseases this poor, destitute child (in my imagination, anyway) was going to succumb. She was a brave little patient, to boot.

My single attempt at "dancing" came at the ripe at of four, when I was politely encouraged to pursue a hobby in playing music, not moving to it. Even a semi-positive foray into folk dancing during elementary school (Tarentella, anyone?) only further my resolved to be in the band.

So what leads a perfectly sane adult to stand in form-fitting clothes and ill-fitting slippers (I finally figured out how to tie them afterward...of course) in front of a very unforgiving mirror and harsh lighting on a rainy night in October? A sense of adventure, I guess. And a deeply misguided belief that I, too, might someday execute a
Fouetté rond de jambe en tournant with the greatest of ease. Whatever that means.

On this night, however, I was happy to just to be able to "tondu" from first to second. And not fall over in the process. In fact, I was quite happy with the progression of the first class. The instructor was not rail-thin (thank goodness!), she had a wonderful sense of humor (apparently my suggestion that learning jumps would only take about 20 minutes was a "good" ballet jokes), and the class as a whole -if not totally able to conquer the
sautée on the first try - earnestly embraced every new term and step as if we were new immigrants memorizing the answers to the citizenship test. The French citizenship test, that is.

I'm kinda hooked now. Moving like this felt good! The next day I had muscles screaming that I hadn't felt since a misstep in high school plyometrics rendered me nearly unable to drag myself up the stairs without both hands on the rail. Indeed, the endorphine rush continues; I'm fully confident that within a month or two, I'll be showing off my prowess like a white girl version of Gregory Hines and
Mikhail Baryshnikov in White Knights. And on that note, here's a preview of my next moves. Watch closely: you might just experience that perfect Fouetté rond de jambe en tournant after all.


marlie1971 on October 31, 2009 at 2:54 PM said...

Oh I have the pic of Katy as a patient but no way to scan it.....I need AN !!

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