I took a several-month hiatus from ballet on account of starting a new job, trying out some different dance classes, and generally being a little tired of ballet. It was much needed. And now I have returned–not as triumphant a return as I might have wished for, perhaps, but not nearly as bad as I feared, either.
Due to schedule restrictions I can only take ballet in the evenings, and I took a beginner-intermediate class to start off. I was essentially ignored by the teacher for most of the class that first night, with no corrections given. But I was so happy. I was actually smiling in center, which is something I rarely do and have been long harangued by my teachers for ignoring. It felt really good.
What was nice was that the teacher assumed I had danced when I was younger, asking me at the end of class where I had trained. Truthfully my training has been very piecemeal, mostly Vaganova with a little RAD thrown in, but I mumbled the name of my school in LA–which was fairly well known for sending off dancers to the NYCB–and ran off as quickly as I could. I had trained there, after all, but never in my life was I one of their pre-professional teens. Still, it was nice to be mistaken for one…sort of!
One of the things about doing ballet–or any kind of serious dance–as an adult is that inevitably there will be periods of time when you have to leave it, for reasons of job, family, whatever. I’ve found that each time I’ve returned, I gain a new appreciation for what I loved in the first place, despite the unavoidable discomfort of trying to get brain and body coordinated once again. And knowing that absence eats away at muscle memory, it’s still surprising how much one remembers.
Also, I think I’m going to start pointe. This has been years in the making. Will report on pointe shoe fittings and first steps in the next few weeks. 🙂