Most of the time, when I mention to someone that I do ballet their reaction is one of polite disinterest. Something along the lines of “Oh, really? That’s… nice,” before changing the subject. Which is kind of irritating because I am so not the kind of person that is outgoing and likes to tell everyone her business, unsolicited. Usually my revelation comes after a question and answer session that goes something like this:
Other person: “What other classes are you taking?/ Are you taking any other classes?”
Me: “Yeah, I’m taking (list off whatever academics I’m taking) and dance.”
O.P. : “Ooooh, dance! What kind of dance? (Optional: lists off other styles of dance that, while they may be awesome, are not my thing.)”
O.P.: “Oh… that’s nice… hey, look over there,”
Me (thinking): ‘What just happened?’
But hey, it could be worse; could be impolite disinterest, or a confused expression followed by “Why would you want to do that?”. Which has happened…
There have been some exceptions, however. My favorite responses, which have come from guys – specifically, guys who work out (coincidence?) – have been along the lines of “Wow, you need a lot of strength to do that!” Which is a really cool response, actually. I’m thinking ‘Yay, he indirectly called me strong! Awesome!’
But last night, as we were discussing double-jointed people, my lab partner, who I’ve told I do ballet, asks me “Hey, so can you, like, stand on your toes and stuff?”
I laughed. “You need special shoes for that.” I’m thinking, not to mention years of training.
“What do you mean?”
So I started attempting to explain to him the concept of pointe shoes, realizing that besides possibly catching bits of pieces of The Nutcracker on t.v. he probably has no background knowledge in ballet. Finally, I just gave up and showed him a picture I had found online that showed pairs of feet en pointe, some over the box, some not.
And the expression on his face was priceless! I don’t think he had realized that ballerinas actually stand – and dance – en pointe, as opposed to just in some kind of high releve. Actually, I don’t think he had even given it that much thought.
The double-jointed weirdness that prompted our discussion:
My hands; they are weird! LOL