It’s almost that time again: time to sign up for classes for next semester! My registration date is coming up in a couple of weeks so, dedicated and responsible student that I try to be, I was looking up the available classes ahead of time so that I can plan out my schedule for fall semester.
But I have a confession that would upset my parents: I looked up what time ballet was going to be offered first! It wasn’t until after I saw what times ballet was going to be offered (which, by the way, both times it is offered it is at a horribly inconvenient time) that I checked what times the other classes I have to take will be offered. You know, the classes for my major that I actually hope to graduate in and start a career in one day. So it makes me really wonder about my priorities…
I know that a career in dance is OUT OF THE QUESTION for me. I’m in my 30’s, a beginner still, and have the wrong body shape for a professional. A few months ago I was hoping (yeah, I was getting really ambitious here) that I could at least perform in the school’s dance concert sometime in the future. I just wanted to feel the rush of performing for an audience. I’d looked up so many amateur recitals on youtube that I figured, with lots of practice, dedication, and hard work it was totally doable for me.
Well, this past semester dashed those hopes. After I pulled my left thigh muscle just enough so that I couldn’t participate in class for a week by repeatedly attempting that move where you get down on the floor on one knee, and the teacher said that that wasn’t a good enough reason to sit out for class, I realized that while I may not feel my age, my body has its limits and I need to listen to my body. If being a performer means ignoring your body’s cues and disregarding consequences all for the love of the art, then I guess the only one I will ever be performing for is myself.
So that day, I told myself that while I would continue to take ballet, I would prioritize my schoolwork and get any notions of performing out of my head. I told myself that it would be the mature, responsible thing to do.
And here I am, just 2 months later, looking up what time ballet is offered before the classes I need to take. Wherever are my priorities?
But the problem is that dance has become such a big part of my life that I almost wish I could turn back the clock and be one of those 19-year-old beginners I take class with who still have the option to possibly dance for a living. I’ve never been the type to aim big. I don’t wish that I had started at age 3 so I could get in with a famous ballet company. Merely turning back the clock by a decade would suffice. Dancing with a small unknown company would be enough for me to feel as though I am living a dream. But alas, I have no time machine, so ballet remains a hobby and a dream.
And I will have to try really hard to keep that in mind.