thoughts from my first ballet class

my first ballet class is now behind me…
but it all started as once again i sat in my car convincing myself i could do this, that everything would be alright, but i knew not what tonight would bring… i walked into the lobby of Ballet Arizona and was greeted by a lobby-full of little ballerinas, all dressed in their leotards with their hair tied into a little ballerina bun….. i smiled but i cried as usual, why couldn’t this have been me…. all these little ballerinas were probably doing their first of maybe a lifetime of ballet classes and so i said a silent prayer for each of them, a prayer that they will grab this gift and hold on to it for a lifetime, for i never was able to….. i found an empty seat across from the studio i would meet in… it was empty but i didn’t want to be the first to enter so i sat in silence and just thought about what i was about to do, my first ballet class, yes at the age of 69 but who cares for i just want to feel what it’s like to dance, to be graceful, to be beautiful

prior to the class starting i quietly entered the studio not really knowing what to expect but i was very nervous, oh was i nervous… as i looked around the studio several girls were already there and stretching out…. in my eyes they were so beautiful with their hair tied in a bun and dressed in their dancer’s attire as they put their slippers on and began a ritual of stretching that they must of done a hundred times before… i looked down at my new slippers and i felt so embarrassed as i didn’t even know how to tie them… it was awkward, but i hesitantly asked the dancer next to me how to tie my slippers… she smiled with a beautiful smile and asked if this was my first class… i smiled back and said yes….. and now with my slippers on i began to stretch as i did a hundred times before, but now i wasn’t stretching before a run or a hike, no now i was in a ballet studio prior to a ballet class and i knew not what or how to stretch… and as the time for the class to begin approached, the studio slowly filled with more and more dancers and they all found a spot under the barre that extended around the studio…. i watched them all silently wishing i was them….
the dance instructor spotted me and knew instantly that this was my first class, probably from my desire to just fade or melt into the background and disappear but her smile welcomed me….. i quietly told her of my lack of experience and really what i was trying to accomplish… i wanted to improve my posture, feel more graceful and feminine and yes, maybe just for a moment, feel like a beautiful ballerina dancing… she smiled and positioned me between two dancers so i could watch them as i tried to learn the fundamental exercises they would do at the barre..

the session began and slowly and very awkwardly i tried to imitate each and every position that was called out… my heart would soar at what i was actually doing, i was positioned on a barre and, well in my mind, learning ballet… but at other times i was so frustrated as i wanted to know more of the basic mechanics behind each movement… i was clumsy and i wanted to be graceful, graceful as the dancers on either side of me…. at times i just wanted to cry, cry because just maybe this wasn’t a good idea but then i would steal a glance at my reflection in a mirror and i would feel a beautiful smile forming…. yes that’s me in my leotards with my hair tied up and i’m learning ballet… i kept thinking of the smiles that i knew all my dancers would have on their beautiful faces knowing that i was here pursuing my dream of dancing… their smiles were the encouragement that kept me dancing…. and as the dancers moved through the various feet positions, their arms flowed so gracefully, their hands and fingers so feminine… i couldn’t even begin to imitate these movements and the instructor just told me to keep one hand on the barre and the other on my hip so i could keep my balance… so much i want to learn and i kept thinking can this woman with her little “teenage heart” ever dance….

and soon the first half of the class was over and now they began their floor exercises…. at once i knew this was where i would just stand, watch and yes dream…. the piano sounded and i just watch wave after wave of dancers float across the floor… they were so beautiful, so very beautiful…. at times i wanted to cry with frustration but i kept looking at my reflection in that mirror and then i couldn’t help but smile, smile because yes i was here… eventually the class ended and the room slowly emptied… i sat on the dance floor with my slippers in my hand and tears in my eyes for i did what i dreamed of doing, i took my first ballet class… as i sat in my quiet solitude a beautiful dancer sat next to me and asked me how my first class went…. i smiled and she said you did great and please come back…. i thanked the instructor and asked if there was a ballet manual that would help me as i will return….
i walked to my car with a beautiful smile and a heart that was dancing
tess julianna 11/12/18

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