Laschwen Posted June 17, 2013 Report Share Posted June 17, 2013 I used to be a regular around here. I was taking classes for some years and even wwent to adult dance camp. I was thrilled when shortly after camp in 08 a wonderful teacher I had approached me and one other student and casually asked if we were ready to start some pointe work. That was at the end of the spring semester. She did not come back in the fall. That was that. No other teachers around here teach adults beginning pointe. So much for the shoes that I spent 3 or 4 years looking for finally being in my posession after a long wait for a special order....They are still unused.As to being unlikely, unexpected, or not belonging...: This was the same teacher whose jaw dropped to the floor when she first encountered me before class one night. I introduced myself. She looked up and the mouth fell open. It was shock. I understand this. It has happened before, although usually less dramatically.The first think that makes me seem unlikely as a ballet student to most people is my height. Let's just say I am very tall. I was told from early childhood that I was too tall for ballet. I did not care. I never wanted to be a pro. I just wanted to dance. In my junior year of high school my phys ed class was ballet wwith a teacher who welcomed tall girls....and it was 1977 when I met her. That was still unusual then. I visited her last spring when visiting Louisiana. She is still teaching at my old high school.... I showed her my dance camp photos and thanked her for instilling in me a lifelong love of ballet. I never counted my kiddie-classes as a start once I had the real thing in high school; 90 min 3 times a week... Wish I'd had it daily. I was tall but I was, on paper anyway, underweight in high school. For the open mouthed teacher a few years ago the opposite was true about my weight. Truthfuly, without mentioning numbers, one would expect me to be a football player before ever dreaming I might go to a ballet class if one looked at my stats right now. Did my size stop me then or more recently? No. Some might think I had lost my grip on reality or I was a glutton for punishmeent but I found the teacher with the open mouth to be a wondeful teacher who was especially helpful to me in my first few weeks with her class. I was never ignored. Fast forward since she left the area. Gas prices go crazy and it is 25 miles to one class and 35 to the other. Hubby does not like it.$200 a month suddenly starts going to the vet for a beloved dog with serious kidney trouble. We expected that to last just a short time but it went on for over 2 years for one dog and then it started for another one a while after the first one passed. The crappy economy did not help either.I reduced frequency at first but I had to sacrifice all my ballet classes eventually. So here is me now:I am 52 and not 44-45 like I was when I started over the last time. The time before that I was about 31- 32 and the 10 year break was nothing compared to the 15 year break since the year of classes I had at 32. And to add to the unlikely ballet student status: I went UP a dress size during this hiatus; two since dance camp if you measured a little over a year ago when I was almost 15 pounds heavier than now. Some of my dancewear might not fit. I could still knock down most of the football players whose height and weight get announced during college football games....probably. I would not try it. My body could not take it. You may assume the usual variety of aching body parts that go with older dancers, plus the bad back they say goes with my height, and a tibial torsion that makes my plies look lousy and causes me to have an abnormal gait, and a touch of numb feet. Don't shoot me. I have worked around all that before. This all still adds up to me being a very unlikely candidate for ballet. So who cares? Who says only the young and slender people who do not have a list of reasons to avoid strenuous activity should be the only ones who get to dance? Dance is innate. Everybody should get to dance however they like. Who says those who train in ballet should have peforming or being professional as their end goal? Do we deny people their recreational golf? That would be silly. So.....During my time out I found some very local alternative dance classes to keep me from going insane but it is time to go back. This is despite those so called reasons to stay home: out of shape, too heavy, too old, too broken from old injuries or what have you. It is time. I just have to wait for a beginner class to start up in August. It has been a while and though I know enough in my head to teach beginners pretty well, my body will not betray this for quite some time, if ever. Those ballroom classes I took were fun while they lasted and I did not suck at it. I went back to tap class and had lots of fun and even performed last weekend, but that does not the spot in me that needs ballet. OK. Bolero came close.... It uses ballet type arms but I still need a barre first, dang it. I did try one so called ballet class that is much closer to home than the good ones I was going to previously because it was during the daytime on a Saturday and I could ride my scooter to save gas. I went once. The teacher actually asked another student to confirm what a tendu was, had us doing grande battements after 10 minutes of barre, and did center combinations on one side only. So now the money thing is not as bad as it used to be. The ballroom classes are gone now so getting the hubby to agree to putting ballet back in the budget is more likely if I am not thinking of doing both. I would like to keep the tap and keep lobbying that teacher to start some local adult ballet. She knows how to teach it but is very occupied with kids classes and favors tap.Added age or maybe the joy of impending menopause has caused me to lose the ability to give a crap what anybody thinks of how I look in a ballet class. If you don't like it, don't look... unless you are the teacher of course. (It would still be sensible to go back to one who knows me already at first.....)I will get stronger once I am there. I can work out in a pool for the summer and go to Zumba or something to get sweating regularly s I do not kill myself in August. Some weight will come off.,,,maybe. Who knows with my crazy hormone status? I own a barre for home use now too. That supposedly irrational part of me that wants to go through the process that turns others into ballerinas will be fed. It is all good. Will I ever get back into those pointe shoes? Maybe-Maybe not? I will know if and when my stiff old half numb feet cooperate enough, when my weight is reasonable enough to try it, and if there is any hope of having classes outside dance camp I can find. I will just go to class and think about all that later. My first goal will be getting ready to go back to camp. I read here somebodies questions about excess weight and going en pointe earlier tonight. Here is the thing with me. I may never weigh what I did when i first went en pointe in high school, but when I tried it a bit 5 years ago my body was stronger than I was as a kid even though I was much older and much heavier. It was a close call for me mentally but I figured it was worth a shot while I was under the supervision of the expert teachers at dance camp. When better? ... Unfortunately the shoes I brought to camp despite much trial and error before going were a "close but no cigar" fit and I did not feel secure in them. I never left the barre. I did get great fit advice there as a result. If it happeens in the future I have the best possible shot at being ready that is available to me now....assuming my feet do not change size....again. That is another treatise I call "My magic growing in adulthood feet" Quote Link to comment
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