In high school I decided that I wanted to become a dancer. I’d been told for years that I had the body for it and dancers were pretty and coordinated, two things that I felt I was seriously lacking at the time. So I signed up for lessons at the studio around the corner from my house in the ‘burbs and stumbled through their beginner classes. Mostly I hid in the back with the only slightly chubby girl in the class and the only boy, who was the son of the studio’s owner. That kid not only had guts but had memorized all the capitals of every country in the world and wasn’t shy about reciting them.
I took another year of ballet in college and then stopped to focus on school and work. I never got to be very good; my long legs felt like more of a liability than anything else and I was terrible at spotting (which prevents you from getting dizzy during turns.) But I loved the feeling of a deep stretch and as a closet narcissist the idea of looking at myself in a mirror for an hour and a half has always held some appeal.
So two weekends ago, my friend Jayne and I started going to fundamental ballet classes at the Berkeley Ballet Theater. We’re both in pretty good shape (she teaches fitness classes, I run) but the first class still kicked our ass. The teacher, Robert, is just great and I can already feel myself improving. The classes are drop in, but Jayne and I have created a tradition (Ballet and Bourbon sundays– first ballet class, then Prizefighter for drinks) so I think we’ll be sticking with it for a while.
I also went to my very first Lindy (swing) dance on Tuesday which was a BLAST. I love partnered/social dancing almost as much as ballet, and I picked it up a little quicker than I thought I would.