1: Leg Warmers and Ballet Shoes


While I patiently wait for what’s next to present itself I’ve decided to dance.  I been dancing since this time last year and it’s been amazing.  It’s mainly been burlesque style dance.  But in the few month I was lead to a dance academy that teaches more traditional dance such as ballet, contemporary, jazz and tap.  In the process I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find a love for ballet.  I’ve always told people I wanted to dance.  It was more something I said in passing and didn’t give any serious thought to.  After a raised eyebrow I would clarify by saying ‘more like performance dance or a back up dancer’.  I remember when I was younger I would record music videos and when no one was around I would practice all the routines.  If anyone remembers In Living Color, I really wanted to be a fly girl.  The fly girls danced at the beginning of the show to the latest music.  I’d be entranced just watching them.  Oddly enough I never thought to pursue.  I’d take a random class or two maybe in belly dance, hip hop but none of them ever held my attention for long. But ballet feels different.

The first class I went to about three months ago I was both excited and intimidated.  I felt surrounded by students who’d taken ballet their whole lives.  Some of them a lot younger than me, clearly although it’s an adult class thirteen and up is considered adult.  I watched these amazing young people stretch and do full splits during the warm up while I in the back barely able to get into a half split position.  What I didn’t know was the class I thought was for beginners was intermediate level and two hours long.  A huge oversight on my part.  So for 45 minutes I felt proud of myself for keeping up.  Well apparently that was just the warm up and they took a break.  Meanwhile, I was out of breath and wondering why they were taking a break for an hour-long class.  That’s when it became clear.

After a two-minute break the real dance started.  The instructor would spit out a combination and they knew exactly what he was saying. Probably good to point out ballet instructions are in French another aspect I did not anticipate along with the pace.  Meanwhile, I was struggling in the back trying to keep up with the person in front of me.  Then they started breaking up in groups, your group does the routine while the rest of the class watches.  At some point I ended up just standing against the wall.  I clearly knew my limitation and didn’t want to pass out on my first day.  I spent the next hour watching in awe as they leaped and glided along the floor with such grace.  All I could do was smile the whole time.  I felt inspired, these days inspiration leads to change for me.  I knew I was in the right place.  Maybe not the right class but in the right space around the right pep.  I wanted to learn how to captivate an audience and bring a smile to someone’s face. Since then I’ve been attending classes regularly and decided to buy my first pair of ballet shoes.  I feel honored to slide on my leg warmers and slippers.  I cannot imagine what happens next.