Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ballet at 40 (happiness is...)

Happiness is...

Waking up in the morning and every inch of your body hurts.

I'm seven weeks into Year 2 of my ballet adventures and I'm getting my butt kicked, hard. My teacher is not letting me off the hook for anything and I absolutely love her for it.

"Let me see a better turnout, Jennifer!" she demands of me. "Ribs on a shelf. Zip them up. Shoulders back. Neck elongated. Elbows up. Engage your core. Don't sink those hips! Ahh!! You're doing it again! Look at your hips!"

I know. My damn hips just won't listen.

I've always admired ballet dancers but I have such mad respect for them now. Ballet is H-A-R-D. And the pros make it look so easy. Practicing and practicing for hundreds of hours. Asking their bodies to do what doesn't come naturally to a human. (Because who goes around putting their ribs on a metaphorical shelf?)

Monday evenings I walk into the ballet studio and ask my body to do what doesn't come naturally. Some nights are a success. Some nights I fail miserably. But one thing I know: I will not give up. I will keep going.

Because this is my happy place.      

Seated Dancer Adjusting Her Shoes by Edgar Degas.
My love-hate relationship with the leotard.