Tag Archives: ballet teacher

Different Styles

By this point in my ballet history, I’ve had too many ballet teachers to count. No, that’s just lazy talk – says she who takes things literal – let’s see, there’s 1 (F Teacher), 2 (S Teacher), 3 (E Teacher), 4 (Teacher; who, as my regular teacher for so long, doesn’t need an initial – but it’d probably make things less confusing at times if I’d given her one…), 5 (N Teacher, like one or two times),  6 (A Teacher), 7 (NS Teacher), 8 (R Teacher), 9 (M Teacher – who I’ve only taken for Modern, but she’s technically also a ballet teacher), 10 (G Teacher), and about 3 or 4 subs (which count for the purposes of this post but I was too lazy or unimaginative to give them  initials in a way that will help me remember who’s who).

Ok, so I’ve had around 10 ballet teachers, and about half of them have been short term. That leaves around 5 ballet/dance teachers that I’ve taken class with at least 50~ times (which can be either a year at once a week, to several months with multiple classes per week). A number I am completely arbitrarily (for the purposes of this post) deciding on as enought time to get to know each other, for them to see what my most common tendencies needing correction are, and how quickly – or not – I am able to fix such things. My weird shoulders, my tilt-y pelvis, my hyperextended knock-knees, stuff like that. While perhaps it would have been beneficial to stick with one teacher for the long term, I do believe that from every teacher I’ve taken class with I’ve walked out with something valuable – a new exercise that helped me find my rotators perfectly, a new stretch, a beautiful center combination, a helpful tip, or even just a ballet fun fact. So yea, I definitely don’t regret moving around. (That all said, I think I should specify that I’ve only tried three different schools or studios, mostly because of location and budget issues.)

Anyway, I find it really interesting how each teacher has their own way of teaching, not just the style of ballet but how they go about it. This is especially true for beginner level classes – even more when it’s basic beginner/ fundamentals / essentials / whatever the most beginner level is called. Like, what they focus on, since obviously a brand-new beginner can’t be corrected on everything all at once. Do they place the highest importance on correct alignment, keeping the class at the barre facing it until they have a better idea of it?  Musicality and artistry from the beginning, even when the basic steps are about as far from being technically precise as possible? Does everyone keep their arm out in second or the hand on hip, or are port de bras and epaulement taught from the beginning?

While at this point I enjoy the variety of the different approaches and find it helpful, as a brand new beginner I know that what I preferred was a teacher who focused on alignment and precision of technique, not flashy tricks. And while I think I’ve read  that teachers should structure the class around the more advanced students rather than the beginners (does this also apply to basic beginner level?), I think that being pushed to do something before you’re physically ready is a recipe for disaster. Like balancing on releve without the barre when the ankles keep sickle-ing, and then attempting pirouettes in center. Tangent: Pirouettes are not a basic beginner step! I used to take class with a teacher who would have us do really basic barre work (like, we didn’t even take it up to releve for our retire balance, and no port de bras were used)  and then when we went to center it was time for pirouettes and grand jetes and it sucked.

The downside of taking class with multiple teachers may be when they each tell you a different thing and contradictions arise. I don’t mean the difference between where to place the toes when doing coupe, or the names of port de bras depending on which school it is, things that are both correct though different. I mean when…well, when you get asked to do something that could really hurt you, and you consult with a trusted teacher and they tell you that you were in the right. I don’t think a dance teacher would deliberately try to hurt anyone, but sometimes unfamiliarity with a student’s tendencies or limitations may be an issue? As by now I’m somewhat trained in the body (since first beginning ballet I’ve taken courses in kinesiology and human anatomy, aside from my ballet and pilates training) and have an idea of what’s normal, I know to take care of my body. That still doesn’t erase the awkwardness of being in a class and not doing the thing you were asked to do though, at least for me. I mean, really, talk about awkward! Am I supposed to say “I’m not going to do that, and I’ve asked Miss So-and-so, and she said I’m right?”, or “Miss So-and-so said what you’re asking me to do is dangerous?”, or something along those lines? That seems disrespectful and rude. So is the only other option avoidance? I hope not but it does appear to be a delicate situation.

Perhaps the reason some teachers prefer for students to stay with the same teacher is so they don’t make a habit of asking for a second opinion. Or perhaps it’s traditional to only learn from one teacher. But I’m glad that I’ve had the opportunity to learn from so many people to get a more complete picture.

My Last Once-A-Week Class

Today’s class was smaller and less crowded than last week, I think there was 8 or 9 of us. Few new people, few familiar faces (including that mean girl that didn’t want to talk a couple weeks ago, lol).  I’m assuming it was mostly newer beginner people because we did the slow barre combinations again, and E Teacher was really emphasizing the whole “keep your legs straight when you close a tendu!” and “degages barely come up off the floor!”. And we didn’t take lots of super long balances with arms in high fifth.   I got a correction on not sticking my butt out during grand plie in fifth – that’s a tricky one for me.

Once again, we ran out of time for frappes. However, we had time for an extra center combination, so I guess that makes up for it.

During the tendu-plie-passe balance combination, E Teacher gave the suggestion that when we bring our foot up to passe we should do it quickly, even when we’re not going up in releve. Just to get that quick springing up with one foot in passe motion down, I guess.  I will definitely be working on that. I’ve gotten used to bringing it up slowly (unless I’m going up on releve) back from the days when I couldn’t balance on one leg at all.  Now that I can sort of balance I need to work on doing it quicker.

My sautes were ok today, I didn’t go ahead in timing, I used my plie, I (sort of) remembered to point my feet.  E Teacher said she’s seeing progress – I’m gonna pretend that was directed at me, lol.

We did the 3 glissades, pas de bourre, repeat other side combination.  I kind of surprised myself, because E Teacher said the music was a bit fast – and it was – but I still managed to do it, almost like if it was in my muscle memory already. Very cool.  I kept wanting to do the arms though (E Teacher wanted them out in second), it just feels more natural that way.

We did the preparation for jetes with arms in 1st arabesque again, and the best student did that across the floor combination that involves a jete at the end that I have no idea what it’s called – or how to do it, for that matter. I assume it’s a common combination though, as Ex-classmate Sub (from a few months ago) expected us to know it.

While leaving, I saw that now there was TWO boyfriends waiting for their girlfriends in the little waiting area couch outside our class.  So funny, if I’d brought Boyfriend, I’ll bet he would have left having had met two new friends.  Seriously, Boyfriend will make friends with people while I try on clothes or use the public restroom (true story), he is just so social.  The exact opposite of me, LOL.  If boys like him didn’t exist, girls like me would never get asked out (’cause of course I’m too socially awkward to do the asking, not that girls can’t ask, because they can and do. Just not this girl…). Sometimes I think that we complement each other so perfectly (and other times I think there’s no way an extrovert will ever understand me.  I fluctuate between the two…)

Then I said my goodbye’s to E Teacher (I have some schedule changes coming up), we chatted a little bit about school and ballet teachers (small world!), and I left.

It was a good night 🙂 Starting next week, more ballet!

Wednesday Classes, Dancing In The Now

In order to not hit traffic (which increases by the minute, it seems) and be late, I usually leave home for ballet class fairly early, which means that I then get to sit in my car in the parking lot for about 45 minutes waiting for Teacher to arrive and open the studio.  Not one to waste time, I use that time for eating my breakfast and, unless I have to study, reading a book.  My latest read falls into the “motivational/self-help” category, and as I sat there reading and shoveling slices of plantain in my mouth, the words I was reading really hit home. I had a realization, an epiphany, you might say: if all we have is now, then it’s pointless to be concerned or obsessed about the “future” – or the past for that matter . In other words, applying it to ballet: dance because you’re loving it in the Now, feeling it in the Now, living it in the Now, not just dreams and wishes of future improvement (though it may still happen!), with “if only’s” and regrets,  with thoughts of “one day I’ll be good enough”, or with memories of past failures (hello, first ballet semester!).

No, I’m going to do it because I enjoy it, because I love it! How lucky I am to get to be doing something I love to do. I felt so grateful for even having the opportunity. So with those thoughts fresh in my mind, I happily walked to class.

morning class

Today we did promenade (which means to walk) at barre, after we did our developpe derriere. It basically involved keeping our leg out in arabesque, and then raising up on our toes – just a little, not a full releve – and somehow turning in a series of little up-down up-down movements.  It was my first time ever, ever, ever attempting to do this move, so I know it looked a little clumsy – ok, a lot clumsy. I started out with my leg in a nice arabesque position and then by the time I had completed my turn it was either way lower than when I’d started or not directly behind me or bent slightly.  Don’t know how far I’ll get on practicing this one at home, either; the floor in my apartment, though wood, is not as slick as the floor in the studio.

My petit battements still need work. It’s so hard to keep the knee still while swinging the lower part of the leg in and out, alternating front and back.  My First Teacher had taught us a similar move, also done immediately after frappes, but it involved a flexed foot instead.  I wonder if they’re similar moves, just different styles of ballet? Regarless, I’ll bet they’re a great thigh workout!

Today I also soutenued without holding the barre several times! I was pretty excited. And then, while holding a balance after 8 plie releves with arms in high fifth, Teacher came by and said “Now lean forward slightly, it’ll feel like you’re going to fall forward but you won’t,” So I leaned and she was right!

In center, I was watching the mirror when we did two changements, echappe, two more changements, echappe, etc. and it did not look right at all! Since my sautes have gotten so much better, I’m thinking it may be as much of a multitasking problem as it is a lack of being in shape problem.  If I could have the studio to myself I would practice them obsessively in slow motion (or in sets of 4 at a time or something), so I could get used to how it feels without the added stress of timing… or people watching me bounce.

The 4 balances, step to arabesque, pas de bourree, passe releve (optional pirouette), other side combination continues to come along, looking more graceful, fluid and dancey.  The passe releves are getting more and more stable every day. If we have the passe releve pirouette combination in evening class I think I may finally go for that elusive en dehors pirouette.

We also revisited the 3 grand battements (front, right leg), passe releve and bring foot down behind, 3 grand battements (front, left leg) passe releve and bring foot down behind,  3 grand battement derriere (left leg), passe releve and bring foot to front, 3 grand battemnts derriere (right leg), passe releve.  The passe releves, especially on my left supporting leg, felt stable but I’m still working on really “kicking” my leg up  without feeling thrown off balance.

Chaines went well.  There is not so much of a discrepancy between my stronger side and my weaker side as there was in the beginning of the semester. In fact, at times I even find myself forgetting which is my weak side which is awesome.  For me a lot of things are mental, and if I psych myself out by thinking “This is my bad side” before starting it tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’ve been making a more concious effort to not put too much thought into it!

It’s funny, because one of the other girls – my “partner” for critiquing the balance combination – and I were talking about chaines and our weak side. She said she can turn better to the right, but she’s left handed; I (usually) turn better to the left, but write right handed.  It cheered me up to know that at least one other person is “backwards” when it comes to stronger side vs. dominant hand. It really irritates me how I have this big hang up about not wanting to be the “only one” that is a certain way, though. It’s irrational, and I know some other people (like Boyfriend) are the opposite; they want to be “unique”.  I still have so much to learn about maturity…

evening class

We had a sub today. No, not that sub, my ex-classmate from my first semester, of that horrible class two months ago.  This sub happened to be one of the studio’s owners and she was awesome! Lot’s of explanations, interesting barre combinations, really supportive and friendly vibe and absolutely no pressure yet encouragement.  I would definitely take more classes with her.

We did fondues at the barre (a rare thing in evening class) and not just any fondues but the kind in which the foot doesn’t touch the floor at any point after it has left the ground from the initial fondu.  My favorite kind!  I really need to find out if there’s a name for this particular kind of fondu… Anyway, that was really fun, and I liked feeling it in my supporting leg – and my turnout muscles as we held an extremely long passe releve after fonduing (fondueing?) en croix both en dedans and en dehors.

I successfully soutenued with  no hands on the barre a few times times (well, technically 4 times, if we want to get specific.). Keep this up and I may call it consistent!

In center, after chaînesing (look, I learned how to put the little accent thing on the “i”!) in both direction, Owner Teacher announced pique turns. Awesome! I’ve been practicing them at home hoping that I’ll get the green light to do them in morning class some day, so it was really cool to have the opportunity to practice then in an area bigger than my living room. Today I discovered that, unlike chaînes, my left side is not my good side. The pique turns to the right were not bad, but on the ones to the left I felt unstable and forgot to keep spotting.  I will practice more, but it was so fun. I love the feeling of turning – well, when I remember to spot, that is.

Oh, and if anyone wants to read about The Other Sub, here’s some links (yes I’m aware there’s a better way to link involving clicking on the text in the post; WordPress hasn’t let that function work on my browser since, like, 3 months ago. Sorry.:

The Class

http://www.balletandorbust.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/at-least-a-positive-a-negative-still-s-neutral/

The Aftermath

http://www.balletandorbust.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/sometimes-i-suck/

Wednesday Class, Now With More Sniffles

Only made it to one class today. Despite yesterday’s sore throat and today’s sniffling I managed to last (and do pretty good (for me))through a pretty demanding morning class.  While I have no doubt that I wouldn’t collapse or anything during evening class (which is usually much easier), I decided to stay home and catch up on my studies and writing.   Besides, I can’t think of many things more embarassing than running from the barre for a tissue for my runny nose!

(Actually, true story, that totally did happen to one girl like a year and a half ago.  We were all mid-plie or mid tendu and she just bolted out the door. I remember thinking I was so glad it wasn’t me – especially when she returned and F Teacher started asking her if she was ok.  Way too much public attention for me, I feel like I would have passed out!)

It could just be me, but I think our barre combinations are getting longer. We’re spending a lot of time in center compared to barre, so while we’re not doing as many exercise, the ones we are doing are longer. It really works out the memorizing moves part of the brain.  I do wonder if knowing how to physically do the moves makes it so that the brain has more “power” to memorize, because back when I first started I absolutely sucked at remembering the combinations, my concentration being occupied by doing the moves.  Now, I usually take the leading spot at one of the barres so I can see myself in the mirror  (which sounds so conceited and wrong, in just about any context other than ballet.  I promise, outside of ballet class I’m not a mirror hog; I actually get freaked out when people see me looking at myself in a mirror outside of a ballet setting. It’s just one of my many weird quirks.) which means that I better have the combination memorized.  For the most part I do! I guess now the moves are in muscle memory.

After we did the 8-8-4-4-2-2-1-1-1-1 exercise twice, Teacher had us plie and releve 4 times with no barre, with a long balance on the fourth. It was the weirdest feeling, like I thought I was going to wobble and tip over but I squeezed my core and pulled up and it felt like I was willing my body to do it, and it worked!  It kind of set the tone for the rest of the class, because my balances were not bad (for me) today.

I liked how we spent a lot of time on releve at the barre, doing cambres both forward and back, and passe releve and coupe releve, as well as echappe changements.  Being on releve is actually really fun for me – as long as it doesn’t involve balancing – because my calves don’t get tired.  Since back when I started ballet they used to burn, it’s a sure sign that I’ve gotten stronger.  Which reminds me, Teacher referred to echappe changements as “pushups for your ankles” – I should do more of both!

In center, my 4 balances (balan-says), step into arabesque, pas de bouree, releve sous-sus, other side combination is coming along.  It may have had to do with the timing of the music being slowed, so I didn’t have to rush my balances. Especially the coupe to the back part, which starts looking sloppy if I rush it.

The 3 grand battements devant with arms in high fifth, then passe releve while bringing the arms down the side combination was also looking better today.  My balancing in passe releve has really started to improve ever since I’ve been thinking more about shifting my center of gravity to be lined up over my supporting leg.  Today, on my left leg I stayed up for long enough for Teacher to say it was “much better.”  Also, I’m able to do it  bringing up the foot from either the front of the back, and I was feeling as stable as ever.

I did a few half-pirouettes (en dehors, from fifth), and felt stable. If I could figure out the spotting part I think I could actually make it all the way around.

We did glissades, which Teacher wanted to be extra jumpy – they reminded me of sissones.  I think each of my ballet teachers has taught us how to glissade a different way.  The cons of having multiple teachers, I guess.

My sautes seemed higher off the ground than before (which is really not saying much, since before I could barely leave the ground).  By the time we got to changements I was running out of steam apparently.  My changements are not very good, but much better than as little as two months ago for sure.

When doing chasse gallops I could feel my feet touching while in mid-air. While I was moving too fast to see in the mirror, I do wonder if that means I was doing it right. Teacher had said that we are supposed to touch our (pointed) feet in the air…

No class next monday, so I’ll be practicing on my own until a week from now.

World Ballet Day Wednesday

First of all, happy World Ballet Day and happy October!

Morning class

Rather than have class we watched streaming footage from World Ballet Day.  I’m primarily a youtube ballet watcher – I haven’t actually been to a professional ballet performance in real life before, yet – and I enjoy watching company class videos as much as full scale performances, so I was having a grand old time.

It was awesome watching ballet with other people who also like ballet! In a way, it’s like now I know why people who are into sports look all disappointed if they ask me if I’m into it and I say “Well, I’ll watch it if it’s on, but I won’t seek it out, and I could care less who wins or loses.” It’s just more fun when the other people watching it with you are as into it as you are! Now I know…

We were all specially into the part when the company men were doing their jumps and turns.  I love how the men in ballet are able to jump so unbeliebably high.  It was also nice watching ballet with someone knowledgeble about it (Teacher), so we could ask random questions about the pros.

I know it wasn’t like a regular ballet class, but it was still a great way to spend a morning.

Evening class

Evening class went well. Our regular teacher was back (yay!)

Actually, I’m getting ahead of myself. The good news is that I remembered my wallet so I was able to attend class. The bad news is that I forgot my ballet shoes at home.  Why does it seem like I always forget something?

I have this checklist on (one of – those things aren’t big enough for all those veggies) our refrigerator(s) that reminds me what to pack for lunch for school, so my absentminded self won’t leave an item behind.  Before I had that list I seriously used to pace around the kitchen, wasting like 20 minutes, trying to remember what to pack (and often I would forget something anyway. Which is not good since I only eat food I bring from home, for budget and/or health reasons.)  Anyway, I think I need to make a ballet class checklist also.

So I did class in my socks today.  As I’ve previously mentioned (I think…) balancing is easier for me while wearing socks or barefoot than while wearing my slippers, so I got to take advantage of that.  Nice long balances today, even while moving the arms. It is also so much easier to point my feet without my shoes since I wear full sole slippers.

In class I didn’t really make too many mistakes, or maybe it was just that I didn’t get many corrections.  When balancing in releve sous sus with my arms in high fifth I had my shoulders high, so I got corrected on that.  But mostly the teacher focused on correcting the newer students that were not keeping their legs straight while tonduing or sticking their butts out while plieing.  I always do that thing of whenever a correction is given to anyone I check to see if it applies to me, so I still feel like I’m learning either way.

In between classes I did do a home practice session since I am getting used to my double dose of ballet wednesday.  Let’s see, what can I report? My degage and piques without holding on are getting more stable every day, and I’ve discovered that I love doing balances (balan-says, not balancing) to the Sleeping Beauty waltz. The timing just seems to fit perfectly. I’ve also been practicing “finishing” after my chaines. Teacher said she wants us to chasse and then 1st arabesque arms, but so far the best I got is to tendu one of my feet – for some reason usually the left leg regardless of which direction I was chaines-ing – back while doing the arabesque arms.  But I’ll get there!

Monday Class: Finally, Some Foot Strength

As the semester progresses we are doing more and more barre exercises during which Teacher has us let go of the barre the second time through.  Today we let go during the degage and pique combination and during the rond de jambe,  fondu, coupe and passe combination.  We were also taking our arms of the barre at the end of most of the combinations and balancing in releve. Teacher has not yet asked us to balance in releve on one leg, but I anticipate that happening soon so I’ve started working on that more at home so it doesn’t come as a surprise. Surprises during ballet class don’t usually end well for me…

Something new we did at barre was move our leg en cloche.  The combination went something like degage forward, come back through first and degage back, then degage front, pique, and balance. Then the same thing to the back, ending with a pique and balance with the leg to the back.  While I am familiar with this movement, I was glad that Teacher said we would not be letting go of the barre during it today.

We did grand battement and changements exercise (three grand battements to the front, three changements, repeat other leg), first holding the barre then letting go.  While we waited for the other half of the class to do it the rest of us then could optionally practice it far from the security blanket safety of the barre.  It went better than I could have imagined.  Grand battements a la seconde are easier for me than en avant – I think that’s how you say “to the front”, we’ll be getting quizzed on this later – so the fact that the en avant one’s went well was encouraging.  My changements were not too shabby either; I had a good mirror spot so I was able to see the part where the thighs clap together that wednesday evening teacher says should occur.

My feet pointing during sautes was not too bad today. While I don’t always point to the fullest that I possibly can – either I forget or I get tired –  my feet no longer do that floppy lifeless thing they used to do in midair.  Or land too far apart. Also, it could have been in my head, but I think that my height during the jumps has improved as well.  It used to be that I barely left the ground.

Our balance combination (4 balances starting with to the right side, then step out our right foot and put our weight on it, lift up back (left)  foot and put arms in first arabesque, then bend supporting (right) leg keeping the back leg straight, and pas de bouree, switch and to the other side) went ok.  The feet part at least, my arms were horrible.  But I felt stable and sort of like I was dancing.

Teacher complimented me on my chaines while turning left.  For whatever reason it’s much easier for me to turn towards the left than towards the right.  When turning towards the right I kept losing my spot today, but otherwise it went ok. Now teacher wants us to actually finish (in first arabesque) when we finish chaines-ing, instead of just kind of running out of center, so that’s the next thing I will be working on.

Today I wore one of my new tights. Since I’ve been obsessing over the silky feel of the material I went with the Theatrical ones, since I just couldn’t wait to try them on (but actually wearing them to class, not just for a quick minute). I will be updating my mini-review as I get to know the tights I bought some more.

As I was leaving I saw Strict Teacher. That was kind of weird…

Sometimes I Suck

Warning: semi-rant follows

Sometimes I suck. And not just at ballet.

If I were to say that last wednesday’s class – and all the flashbacks it brought back – have not been circling my mind obsessively the last several days, I’d be a liar.  A big liar. Truth is, I’ve thought very little about anything but that.

I hate the new fears that have awakened inside me.  I worry that I’m the worst wannabe-dancer ever, and that the only reason anyone offers any encouragement is to be polite.  Because enough other teacher’s have said what they had to say, or volumes were spoken by their silence. By now I’m wondering if Nice Teacher’s compliments are true, or if she’s just being excessively nice.  I wonder is all my “dancing” is good for is a laugh.

Living in worry, fear, and doubt is the worst.

About a week ago, I had a dream I didn’t bother writing about. Mostly because I forgot the specifics right away, leaving me with only a vague idea. In it, my first ballet teacher and latest teacher (NiceTeacher) were having some kind of meeting or something. Don’t know why or how, but I burst into the room and started tearfully explaining how much ballet means to me.  Sometimes my dreams come true in an indirect way, but now I’m paranoid: do the teachers talk among themselves about the students and their progress or lack of?

To my first teacher, I was practically invisible.  Of the whole semester I took ballet with her, she corrected me only a handful of times and, since I sucked horribly there was probably a lot of correcting possibilities. It was ok, I wasn’t expecting much, but what had made it almost intolerable were the other students in the class.

This was the semester of overhearing the loud conversations about other students body types, the semester of the live pianist staring at my pathetic attempts to jump, the semester of avoiding standing where the class’ “Best Dancer” could see me at barre (and of course she had her barre, where only those she deemed good enough to stand next to her could stand. As she loudly proclaimed more than once).  But I would have taken being seen at barre over being seen by her in center. At the barre she would just make this face, I can’t describe it in a way to do it justice, but like if you’re some kind of idiot  for not being able to do it right.  During center, then she would straight out laugh.  And point (and I don’t just mean her feet).  The teacher had nothing but praise for the “Best Dancer” despite her terrible attitude (though she may have just not noticed?).  That class had made me feel unwelcome like no other.  Like if my clumsy, two-left footed, big chested self was trying to infiltrate their exclusive dancer world and they were just not going to grant me admission.

On the last day of class, as we all sat in front of her in a haphazard semi-circle, the teacher had asked who planned on continuing on with ballet. When no one volunteered (though in my mind I already knew I would), she had started calling on people and offering encouraging words, trying to convince them.

She did not try to convince me.

It’s really hard for me to not focus on that. To think that she deliberately didn’t tell me anything because she thought that I’m just not good enough, that all the practice in the world won’t make a difference.  At the time I channeled all those feelings into sheer determination to practice and improve.

With my next teacher (Strict Teacher), I didn’t fare any better.  She did give me plenty of corrections, and I know my ballet-ing improved while I was studying under her.  But she was not sympathetic to my limitations at all.  Overall, I would say that she did help me a lot with the study of ballet.  But did I feel at home in her class? Honestly no.  When it came time to give out grades (since this is a community college class), she gave me an impossibly low grade.  As in I added up the points and there was just no way.  So I wondered, was this my second hint to get the hell out of the dance world because it so clearly doesn’t want me in it?

This summer when I took my first non-commmunity college ballet classes, I felt comfortable. Yes, I was super anxious before actually going – obsessing over what could go wrong – but after my first class I was just so happy.  This studio has been the only one where I have truly felt at home as a “true” adult beginner, not as a young adult who is already a dancer and is considering returning to ballet.  This studio has been the only place where I didn’t feel that exclusivity vibe, that feeling of not belonging.  It has been the only place where no one has tried to make me feel unwelcome.

But by having that sub from first semester the feeling has been ruined.

It is not my intention to be melodramatic.  Sometimes just talking about my feeling helps me move past them, to let them go. And no one I know in “real” life cares to hear about this 31 year old woman’s ballet class drama.  No one understands. They just say “Oh, it’s not something you’re going to do for a living anyway, who cares,”  or something along those lines.  But I care, and there’s just no way that I can explain to them how much ballet means to me, how much this obsession of a hobby has helped me make it though these difficult times.

If I didn’t love ballet so much, I would have given up by now.  Why try so hard to be part of a group that doesn’t want you in it, and all.  But I love ballet, so I will keep going.

I realize this is a pretty negative post. Sorry about that, but with the highs come the lows and all that. Have a great day and thanks for reading.