I have been obsessed with Ballet my whole life. Something that not many people know about me, because its not like I introduce myself, "Hi my name is Emily and aside from my general clumsiness, I love ballet". It's just not something that comes up.
Now I don't know if it has to do with the admiration of achieving something I never could that lures me in, or just the simplicity of bending your feet into a curve of bones not humanly possible, but I do know that my interest in this display of grace has been in my blood for a long time. When i was like 6, I begged my mom to put me in ballet classes. I longed to be graceful and wear pink everyday. Little did I know what I was asking for. She registered me, and then it began. The nightmare that was ballet. I hated it. No i didn't just hate it, I loathed it, and I didn't even know what that meant. The pointing and the rules, the clenching and the commands. What happened to the graceful and peaceful beautiful girls that mesmerized me with their skills? I was sure I was being tricked, this was not ballet, this was military camp.
It is hard enough trying to make a 6 year old sit still let alone in a certain painful position, but trying to get me as a child to do so, even worse. my lack of grace has been with me since my eruption from the womb and ballet classes, even directed by a nazi, was not going to train it out of me. I couldn't put my foot beside my leg right, I couldn't walk right, I couldn't stand like a duck right, nothing was working, and the more I went the more I dreamt nightmares about my ballet teacher. Her long black hair pulled tight into a smooth ponytail. The way she could move across the floor without making a sound, the way she pressed her thin lips together without a wrinkle on her face. Every Wednesday I pleaded for my mom to let me quit. I came up with stories about how I was being tortured, how it hurt, how awful my instructor was, but no amount of fake tears would get me out.
I continued, awaiting the last 10 minutes of class with every tick of the clock. Free style. My fav. Filled with beautiful ribbons and my kind of music. It was then that I felt like a real ballerina. bustin a move across the floor to the rhythm of my own drum. Freestyle.
If only it could have been a part of the nutcracker. But it wasn't. And I was. I was a mouse. pretty in pink and grey, getting all the motions wrong and going a noticeable few counts too fast. Its a good thing my town is small and our mall pathetic, or our performance would have been a little to embarrassing to remember. But I do.
By the time I was out, You would have thought that even the memory would repel me. The sight of tight buns, the tights, the mirrors, even the smell of old varnish. But no, instead of repelled, I was enthralled. I had tried it, and failed, but the love, the passion, it was still very evident. Still very real.
And so here I am. around 13 years after my experience with ballet, and in love I still am. I know its hard work, I know it takes a real fierce kind of person to commit to such a "sport" but it doesn't take any amount of pain to love it. The pink, the shoes, the grace. I will always and forever been enthralled by you ballet. and will continue to be a ballerina in my dreams until I die.