I’ve read before in more than one place that there are good ballet days and bad ballet days. Ain’t that the truth! Some days I finish up practice feeling so light and agile, like a superhero. Other days, I feel clumsy, sluggish and slow like Im on some planet with twice the amount of gravity. Those are the not so good days which I’ve noticed by now will inevitably happen, especially whenever I start feeling like I’m actually improving.
I’ve known for a while now that the learning curve for ballet, at least as far as my body is concerned, does not shoot up in an exponential manner. It doesn’t even increase at a steady rate rate much as a y=x linear function. Instead, it appears to resemble a sinusoidal curve, with it’s ups and downs. And yes, whenever I’m having a bad ballet day I inevitably bring up math, if anything to remind myself thst I’m good at something.
But yes, the learning curve goes up and down. One day I’m pleased to see that I can bring my leg up in extension a little bit higher. The next day it seems like I actually lost some of my turnout. One day I notice that my port de bras is actually looking somewhat like it’s suposed to and the next day I can’t balance indefinately in releve with arms in fifth.
But above all, the most discouraging thing for me if when I see my body in profile while doing ballet. Because then I start thinking “What’s the point? I won’t be able to get the lines that I’m supposed to get anyway and it’s not going to look the way it’s supposed to, so what’s the point?” And then I start getting a bit down on myself, at least until those feelings fade and are replaced by others.
Because then I’m overcome with gratitude. I am grateful that I even have the opportunity to learn ballet because late is definitely better than never. I am grateful that even though shopping around for a ballet teacher who will be sympathetic to my unique circumstances is not an option, at least I have so many resources available to me, such as the internet and youtube videos. I am grateful that I have delicious and nutritious food in my fridge and plate which give me the energy, both physical and mental, to attempt to do ballet. I am grateful that we live in an apartment with wooden floor and a large living room and this made it possible to set up a nice home practice area. I am grateful that I have my health and that my body is, while it may not be suited for ballet, in the best shape it’s ever been.
And in the face of all this gratitude, how can I possibly feel upset?