Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Showing up

I spent 16 years of my youth dancing--mostly Ballet--and I was very serious about it, and yes, I was actually pretty good.  I loved the movement, the discipline, and structure and the sense of inner calm and confidence.  Even as the years have progressed (and the waistline expanding) my years of dance study has served me well..good balance, good flexibility, able to pick up things quickly and of course the ability to twirl when needed!

I've taken a few dance classes in my adult life but it has been over 6 years since my last go...and I've missed it.  Right along side of that want, there has resided the fear of showing up for class my current shape (sort of the anti-ballerina)---what will the rest of the class think?  would the teacher cringe? would I even be able to do any of the exercises?   With these questions circling my hope of dancing again I have managed to avoid answering the question 'what if' if you just showed up?'

After going to see the winter concert however, (from the studio owned by my FIRST ever teacher--a woman I love and respect so much) my friend was so excited about the idea of learning Ballet that she said 'we should take the adult class!'.  Bolstered by the idea of having at least one friendly face in the room with me, I said "yes....let's do it". 

Fast forward to last night...sitting in the parking lot of the studio, doing my best to give myself a pep talk to walk inside....I was terrified, but knew that I had to go in.   Rooms full of young girls in leotards and tights, some working on point shoes, and then another room (where I couldn't quite see in) I heard the voice of my first dance teacher...she was there and teaching a beginning ballet class to some very young little girls.  And all my fear just melted away as I heard her encouraging, joking, inspiring these little girls just as she had done for me oh so many years ago.   I was home.

I gave her a huge hug as I went into my own class and found (not surprisingly) that the adult ballet teacher is fantastic and has the same open and generous heart as all the other students in the class.  My mind remembers the positions and movements better than my body does at this point...and today's mobility is brought to me by the makers of ADVIL, but my heart--having endured so many of the past years being circled by the ugly thought vultures from my cynical side feels lighter than a feather and able to leap with the best of them.


Lynn Cohen said...

This brought tears of joy to my eyes! I am so glad you WENT IN and danced. So sweet to see and hug your teacher...and to give yourself the joy of dance once again! Bravo to you Ms Ballerina!

Karen S said...

What a wonderful story. And I love the photo -- I could see an art quilt coming out of it.