I have had some crazy ideas at times, but restarting ballet at this stage of my life isn’t one of them. I started martial arts the day I started practicing law, so I wouldn’t go berserk from the stress and punch some idiot. Now, twenty-five years and five black belts later, I still kick and punch and I haven’t hit a judge or a fellow counselor yet, although there have been moments when I’ve dreamed about it. More than once.
What has this got to do with ballet? A lot actually. Martial arts is hard, especially for a woman who’d spent her entire life training to be polite, kind, compassionate and well….a lady. A fundamentally uncoordinated lady. Walking into my dojo (karate school) for the first time was intimidating. If I’m honest, it still is intimidating every time I learn a new form or try to wield a new weapon. I’m used to looking and feeling like an idiot on the dojo floor. How different could being on the dance floor actually be?
Well, as it turns out, very. Flowing movement armed isn’t quite the same as flowing movement in ballet slippers, but it’s fun!
I’m not the oldest person in class, which was encouraging all on its own. I also have a wonderful benefit in that my seventeen year old son who has been in the dojo his entire life and hence is very secure in who he is as a man, has joined me on the dance floor. He’s wonderful—far more talented than I am. When we—more often it’s me—screw up, we laugh together which is really quite cool.
What I really want to learn is how to tap dance. I’m still searching for anyone who teaches tap to adult beginners. For now though, ballet and modern dance will do. The teachers at the dance school are avidly trying to recruit my son and his mom into signing up for Latin dance. We’ll see. There’s a lot of tossing around of the ladies that I’ve seen when I spy on the private lessons before ballet class. It looks like a hoot! I think I’ll have to lose ten or more pounds first :).
So what’s the point of this blog? I guess it’s my hope that if you have a desire to dance, or to learn self-defense, or heck—learn to ride a motorcycle (did that in my thirties after a short stint of riding at 19 silently praying the entire class and calling myself all sorts of crazy), that you do it. Life is short. Being here is a gift. Be kind to yourself and do what you want to do when you can.
Blessings to you all, and when you get the chance, “…I hope you dance…”! Please share some of your experiences that seemed like dipping your toes in the “crazy pool” at the time. I’d love to hear them!