Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Plié.

Tonight I had my third ballet class. This fall I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone and sign up for an adult beginner ballet class. I had been vaguely considering the idea of taking ballet for a couple of years, but it seemed rather scary. Besides, it was too late. Who starts ballet as an adult anyway?

Last January, I almost signed up, but instead I registered for a semester-long live-model drawing studio. That seemed more manageable at the time, when I was in the depths of winter. Through it I was able to reconnect to visual art again and find healing in it. But the idea of taking ballet stuck with me, and I decided that this fall I would do it. I created a worst-case scenario idea in my head, and then once I had envisioned the absolute worst that could happen, I realized that it was nothing compared to what I've survived in the past. I had nothing to lose, so I bought my leotard, ballet shoes, tights and other ballet stuff and signed myself up. The receptionist asked if I would prefer to register after taking the trial class, and I said no. I didn't want to be able to back out.



It turns out that my adult beginner ballet class is packed with women in their 20s and 30s or so. Who knew? The first two weeks I enjoyed myself, but my assumption was that I was probably one of the least coordinated people in the class. This was partially because on the first day, a number of people had said they had taken ballet for years as a child or teenager and partially because I have never considered myself to be graceful or particularly coordinated. But tonight, as we did some steps across the room to a waltz, I had a moment to notice the others while I was waiting for my turn, and I realized that no one was doing it all perfectly. Some might have more experience, but we are all learning and making mistakes.

Beginnings can feel awkward. Learning unfamiliar steps takes time. Thankfully each week, we repeat what we've done the previous weeks and add some new things. Tonight I could feel that I have made some progress, even in just 3 classes. My body is starting to adjust to new movements and shapes and rhythms. It's invigorating and inspiring.

Plier. I am choosing to bend into these new beginnings. To yield to them, to open myself up, to welcome them and not resist. I may be wobbly sometimes, but it's all part of the journey.

5 comments:

  1. That is really awesome and inspiring, Jenny! Good for you for trying something new and outside of your comfort zone. I have been wanting and meaning to sign up for and start yoga classes for ages now and I just keep letting other things get in the way of me doing it. But it's ridiculous! I agree, I've survived much worse than whatever the worst case scenario for me doing yoga is, so I need to just go to a class already. I hope you keep seeing that progress and feeling the changes in your body as you continue with ballet! :)

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    1. Hi canadianchia,

      I say go for the yoga classes! I'm guessing that even if it's challenging, it will be relaxing and inspiring too. Plus, once you learn, you can do it on your own when you feel like it! Keep me posted if/when you give it a try!

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  2. that took guts - good for you! I've been taking yoga classes 2 or 3 times a week for about 10 months now. I still can't do all the postures and at first I was really bad at it. The teacher and the class are non-judgemental, though, so I stuck it out. I'm still not great at it, but find it very beneficial anyway. :-)

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    1. SewTypical,

      Good for you for trying yoga and sticking it out! I am glad you found a non-judgemental class! I thought about trying yoga last fall, but did visual art instead. I might get to it one day. I really enjoy ballet's focus on body position, posture and alignment, so I think I would like yoga and pilates too. But for now, I am already thinking about trying to continue with ballet next semester. I hope to make it work with my schedule.

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