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Introduction: Asian and Asian American ballet dancers, and Zhong Jing Fang

It’s jarring to love an art form–dance, movies, novels, whatever–and then realize that you don’t see yourself in it. When I first became interested in ballet, that was exactly how I felt: I was astonished by how beautiful it was, how much it could say, and was surprised by how much I loved it, instantly. Then I wondered where all the dancers who looked like me were. There is a natural comfort, I think, that comes from knowing who you know you are and seeing a dancer or artist who looks like you–or who comes from the same ethnic or racial background as you. It is a way of knowing that this too is within your reach, even if the connection is purely aesthetic, and has no real connection to what you yourself could physically accomplish. It’s about possibility.

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Adult ballet: basic gear

If you’re about to jump (sauté!) into adult ballet classes for the first time, you’ll want to go in well equipped. Being that not everyone has the same level of commitment when beginning classes, I’ve organized gear recommendations into categories depending on how firm your interest is, so that you won’t be wasting money should you decide that ballet is not your cuppa. Continue reading