Yes I signed up for an adult ballet class. But no I do not wear a tutu. I thought I should clarify those two things before I got much further.
It’s been a long time since I did ballet. A. Long. Time. Like I think 3rd or 4th grade. I’m not exactly sure why I stopped then, I think it was a combo of changing interests, a teacher that was not encouraging or helpful at all, a huge growth spurt that made every single movement I did awkward and backwards and anything but graceful and beautiful, and really I don’t know. As I’ve grown I’ve come to love the beauty of ballet and dance and often wish I knew more. And so when I saw that the dance studio where my boys do gymnastics was offering an adult ballet class I thought “why not?”.
Well that’s not entirely true. I had many why nots…including (but not limited to)
-there are going to be people in there that have danced their whole lives and I’m going to look like an awkward whale jumping around
-does anyone really want to see me in a leotard and tights….these thighs aren’t pretty
-I may fall flat on my face
-I have no idea what I’m doing
-what is a 33 year old doing signing up for ballet…isn’t it time to grow up and let those dreams die
-what if they make me dance in a recital?
-what are other people going to think
And the list went on and on.
It was a pretty good list and a number of doubts that filled my mind and thoughts. But finally I thought, I’m 33, I have more then enough reservations and reasons not too, but if I don’t step out and do this now even if I might fall and fail and look like a complete idiot, I’m always going to wish I had. And so I signed up.
After the signing up came the buying shoes and a leotard. Again something I hadn’t done since 3rd grade which was long before giving birth to two little guys. I finally found enough courage to go to the store. I walked in and there was dance stuff everywhere. I tried to look brave and sound confident when the sales clerk asked what I needed. I confessed, “I signed up for an adult ballet class and need ballet slippers, a leotard, skirt and tights and I have no idea where to begin”. Luckily she was full of grace and able to help me through it all. After finding slippers that fit, she showed me where the leotards were and skirts and set me up in a dressing room. I walked out confident in what I had bought and was ready for the first class.
My good friend Lori signed up to take the class with me but she was unable to make the first class which meant I was on my own. I put on my dance clothes and showed my boys and husband, all of who declared I looked lovely, and then quickly put clothes on over it all so I could drive over to the studio. I arrived super nervous, but the front desk knew me because of all the gymnastics classes my boys have taken and were super friendly and smiled.
As it turned out there weren’t a ton of amazing dancers in the class. In fact I was the only person that night. I took a deep breath before going in, and had a blast. We worked on the barre, did a couple of dance sequences, did turns, jumps and ended with some leaps across the floor. There’s a TON to learn and work on, but I’ve been doing a little at home and really REALLY glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone and signed up. I think often as women we allow our self doubts whether it be about a situation, our bodies, our own strength, or what we think others will think, hold us back from doing something that will only in the long run make us more of who we are and deeper and stronger individuals.