Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ballet at 40 (my first class)

I had survived my first ballet class last night and I'm happy to report that I didn't trip, fall over myself or like this photo, devolve into a hot mess by the end of the lesson.

In fact, it was fun. Dare I say it -- I may get hooked.

I got a crash course in French (plié, relevé, rond de jambe, anyone?), I revisited my childhood, and I was surprised and pleased that my body remembered what to do even though it's been 30 years since I was a ballet student.

It was packed in our little studio. Nine women of all ages (the youngest was in her early 20s and the eldest in her 60s) and sizes (short, tall, slender, plump, athletic, hourglass) and one man named Meredith, oddly enough.

We spent an hour going over ballet basics: learning arm and leg positions, doing barre exercises to pretty classical music, and walking across the room on our toes. 

We also spent a lot of time looking at ourselves in the mirror. This part I have to get used to because I default to self-conscious mode ("Ugh, look at my stomach! Maybe I can suck it in a little more!") rather than confidence mode ("Wow! I can relevé pretty damn good!").

I'm already seeing and feeling the benefits. After just one class I'm paying more attention to my posture, I'm walking with my head a bit higher and I feel my muscles (the ones hiding under all the fleshy parts). I woke up this morning a bit sore. But the good kind of sore where your body, once a rusty engine, is now coming alive. Plus, I had the best sleep last night. And it's been a long time since I had a good night's rest.     

Here's to doing something every day that scares you. See you at the next class!  

Best ballet Instagram accounts. (Elle)  
When Jasmine Malone rediscovered ballet, she fell in love again. (The Telegraph)