The day I didn’t lose my nerve

As I have previously mentioned, so far  my ballet experience consists of classes that I have taken at my local community college (and, of course, lots of practicing at home). That’s where I took my first ballet class and I hadn’t ventured elsewhere due to several reasons, a big part of it being money. At the communtity college you get 14 weeks worth of ballet, 2 times a week for about $50. Can’t beat that (well, actually you could if you audit the class at the community college).
But I found out recently that there is a dance studio nearby that offers ballet. It met my requirements: it was affordable-ish ($10 per class), less than 20 minute drive from home, and they offer a beginner’s class. Still though, I’ve put it off and just continued my practice at home.

I don’t suffer from procrastination. What I do suffer from is anxiety, a crippling anxiety that keeps me from veering too far from my routine, from what is known to me. Yet it unpredictably and unexpectedly lets up, and those are the times when I have actually do something for the better:when I decided to go back to school, when I first ever signed up for ballet, whenever I have stood up to my friends and relatives on any issues that I believe in. In other words, many good decisions have been made by me at times when my anxiety was not in control.
Today was one of those times. I had pondered trying out that new dance studio last week, but ultimately I had let my inner critic disuade me. I told myself that I could just wait the next month or so and just continue taking classes at the college.
But today I told myself that I was going to go in and take this class. If it went horrible then at least I know that I tried.
With my anxiety, it’s the little “what-if”s that get me. I was discouraged from going to class because of doubts about what to wear, for example. At my regular classes we have a uniform or dress code, so that part is easy. At this new place, not so much. There was no dress code mentioned on their website and I had been unable to reach them on the phone. And then, to make matters worse, my pink tights have a hole in them, thanks to my adorable cat Smudgey, and my black tights that I bought when I first started a year and a half ago fit a tiny bit too snug (due to putting on leg muscle, I hope). At $14 apiece I was not planning on getting new tights until these were literally falling apart. At school I know we are allowed to do this, but at a new place? How awkward!
Also, I’m used to taking ballet class in the morning, so I usually just have a super light breakfast but this new class in in the evening so it would for sure be after dinner. And I don’t know how I feel about wearing a leotard on a full stomach.
And, since in the college classes we had all started class at the same time (though some people had years of experience), and in this class it wouldn’t be that way, I guess I had the general fear that was if the class was way too advanced for me. What if I got lost in every combination and looked like a clumsy oaf?
But today was the day I faced all of that.
After trying on both, I ultimately decided to wear the pink tights, despite the tear. I arrived at the studio nice and early. By this point, since I had already made the decision (I really think the deciding part is the worst), I felt like I was on autopilot. I didn’t know if they had a changing area, so I wore my leotard and tights under my clothes. So glad this week isn’t as hot as last week!
Me trying out the black tights.
My poor torn pink tights 😦
So as for the class…
I had so much fun! I am so glad that I faced my fears and didn’t let them hold me back.
The teacher was super friendly and nice and not intimidating at all. So that was really cool. The class had a very chill, laid back feel to it. There was five of us students, all adults. I was the only one wearing a leotard! Yet strangely I did not feel weird, I felt like a ballerina.
The combinations at the barre were not hard, but since they were new to me it was a bit of a challenge. It was awesome though, nothing that I can’t handle. Plies and grand plies in first, second and fifth. Tendus, degages, rond de jambe, frappes, some balancing in releve. Some developes but no fondues.
Now center, my favorite, lol. (sarcasm) Well, it wasn’t horrible. The port de bras and releve combination was do-able, but unfortunately I’m one of those people that needs to do a lot of repetition before they can do something right. So it wasn’t as good as it could’ve been. We did some balancing in passe releve, and I’m so glad that I had been able to do that recently, or else I would have probably been intimidated. We did sautes and changements, which at least I was able to do in timing. I need to stop forgetting my arms though.
And I even got some compliments from the teacher!
So will I be back? HECK, YEAH!
Hoping that the tear isn’t obvious from a distance, lol.

3 thoughts on “The day I didn’t lose my nerve

  1. ballettrist

    Good for you for trying out a new class! I must say, though — $50 for 28 classes is SUCH an amazing deal. Also, torn tights supposedly give you more dancer “street cred” — kind of like wearing scruffy ballet shoes with holes from working too hard. Goes with the whole dancer hobo look. I never really got that either (scratches head).

    1. flowergirlkit Post author

      Yeah, the first time I saw a girl walk in with duct tape holding her ballet shoes together, or a hole in her tights big enough to put her head through, I was like “What?!”, but you’re right about the “street cred” thing.
      And yeah, I’m so grateful that the community college near me offers ballet because it IS an amazing deal. I wish more adults that are put off from trying ballet because of the cost would find out about it.

  2. Pingback: The Long-Awaited Return to Class | balletandorbust

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