Tag Archives: dreams

The Twilight Zone Post

This post is a little oddball-y…

I had a terrible dream last night. Of course, I don’t remember all the details, since I’m too lazy to make it a habit to write down the details of my dreams on the regular, but I remember that it’s ballet related and it sucked.

I was in class, and it was tough. Tougher than usual. At some point my foot started feeling really sore, not from the top instep part near the ankle, but the bottom. The part where you balance on demi pointe – I guess the ball of the foot. The soreness was becoming pain and I was really feeling like I couldn’t finish out the rest of class.

This is the part where “real life” and “dream life” converge – I remember thinking ‘If I can’t handle this class, there’s no way I’m going to be able to handle taking Winter session (2 hr class daily) plus going to New Studio on the evenings. Not to mention, rehearsals on top of it if I choose to sign up for the next performance in the Spring.’

These thoughts made me overwhelmingly sad, and desperate.

The scene changed. Don’t remember the details of how I got there, but then I was talking to somebody, some kind of trainer or perhaps ballet teacher? I asked him what I could do – should I work to strengthen my body more through cross-training so I can be strong enough for ballet, should I make any other changes to what I’m doing? Eat more protein so that my body can build muscle easier? WHAT DO I DO?

And what did he say? “There is nothing you can do. Each body has it’s own limit, and given your history (my sedentary childhood and teenage years, I’m guessing?) and age, that’s it.” I don’t remember exactly what was said next, but I do remember feeling horribly upset.

I remember thinking that it wasn’t that he said I couldn’t do ballet, but just that there are limits to what I can do. Both that my potential is set at a certain level, and that it will take me more time to get there, since I can’t overtrain my body too much. So while I get to continue doing ballet, I can’t get all obsessive and attend 4 hours + of class in one day (especially if I plan on doing that daily).

Bear with me here: I know many (most?) people would just say to blow it off, that it’s just a dream, and who cares as it has no bearing on real life. But – and I’m really opening myself up to criticism  here perhaps (in this neck of the woods internet) – in the past I have had realistic-ish dreams like this one that have, well … somewhat come true. Not perfectly true, not all the details, just similar situations that were a little too close for comfort. Like, dreaming I was in a car accident and then it happened (although not the same kind of accident,  but it was the day after the dream), or dreaming about an awkward social situation that puts me in the spot and then surprise! class presentation is announced. Or dreaming about someone I haven’t seen in years and then I run into them at school later that day. I have plenty of other examples too, that I won’t get into because those are stories for another day and another blog.

My point is, I’m terrified of this one coming true. Or is it some kind of wake up call from my subconcious? Am I – or have I been – pushing myself too hard given the circumstances? Is there really such thing as a limit that is set in stone and no matter what I can’t overcome it? By writing about it here, did I somehow cancel it out and keep it from coming true (you know, like how they say that if you make a wish you shouldn’t tell because then it won’t come true. Ha, apparently I have the mindset of an eight year old right now)?

So many questions!

But I really hope this turns out to be nothing.

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.

Long Weekend Updates

After waking up from a lovely ballet dream in which I literally flew, I realized that I haven’t updated this blog in an unprecendented-for-me long time. The dream was awesome, by the way. I was like twirling, twirling, twirling, and then I was like twiling while up high in the air or something. Perhaps I was part of a pas-de-deux and that was the part where my partner lifted me in the air and spun me around or something. It was so exhilirating though, if only I could feel that in “real” life! But I guess that’s why I dance, so I can get close to it.

We had houseguests over the long weekend, so that threw off my schedule a bit. I’m not too crazy about long holiday weekends. I would prefer if everyone had a shorter work week so that every weekend would be a long weekend. That would be great! Unfortunately, I’m not in charge of those kinds of things, so the 5 day work week remains the norm for now.

One of our guests brought over an adorable puppy. Unfortunately, said puppy was also very hyperactive, incontinent, and clumsy. I spent a good part of the weekend making sure the puppy wasn’t chewing through my shoes or books (he loved destroying paper), leaving puddles everywhere on my wooden floor, and otherwise disturbing the peace. He did manage to knock over and break one of my practice mirrors, which really sucked! Luckily,Boyfriend managed to glue it back together and it’s semi-functional – and we avoided the seven years of bad luck. On a side note, I never fully appreciated, or even realized, how well-behaved our own dogs are!

It was somewhat difficult finding time or space to practice ballet with guests over. I realize it may sound bad (antisocial, Boyfriend would say), but I’m really glad to have the place back to ourselves so I can get back to my regular routine. Last night I got to have my first home ballet practice since last tuesday (though I did have class on wednesday) and I was so happy, though I did feel a little off balance. When you’re trying to climb the learning curve it’s so easy to just slide back down!

I have class tomorrow – might even try again for two classes – so I need to get this balancing situation stabilized (did I just make an accidental pun?).

It has now been six weeks since I sprained my left ankle and I can finally say that I am back to my pre-fall fitness level. I’m routinely walking my regular morning route and the ankle had not given me any trouble. The weirdest thing happened though: my right ankle, which I injured in a car accident a few years ago (but have not reinjured) began feeling a little funny. Thing is, after it had stopped hurting months after the accident it had been pain free for almost two years. I found it coincidental that after I hurt the left foot the right foot would start to act up. I’m going to go with it’s something psychological, like a phantom limb pain. It’s not even really like full-blown pain, just like a feeling of my attention being focused on that part of the body (whereas usually I don’t focus on a part of my body unless it’s hurting).

Also, WordPress at random keeps erasing blogs from my list of blogs I follow. It’s really annoying and I wish I knew how to fix that glitch. Anyone else experience this or know how to fix it?

The ballet teacher haunts my dreams…

i had the weirdest dream last night, featuring the ballet teacher mentioned in my last post.  i don’t know anything about dream analysing, so if anyone ever reads this who does and would like to fill me in, I would love to hear it!

Anyway, here is the dream: I was driving to take a ballet class  in a new place with a new teacher and there was lots of traffic.  Like bumper-to-bumper kind of  bad traffic and it may have been raining.  It took me a while to get off that freeway.  Then after that long drive for some reason I had to park really really far and the parking structure appeared to be still being built or something because there was construction work scafolding all around it, which I then had to climb down.  After getting down, this other girl that was going to class also offered me a ride, which I accepted.  we drove on towards class and I can’t remember exactly what happened but for whatever reason we ended up having to walk the rest of the route.  By this point, in my dream I knew that we would be late to class, and when we had almost reached the building I remembered that I had forgotten all my ballet gear.  We decided to try to go into class anyway, maybe the teacher would let us observe or something (which is something my past ballet teacher would allow if we were late to class).  Except for some reason the teacher turned out to be the same teacher that I just had!  At this point the girl and I decided to just leave.  I remember on the way back there was a huge full moon in the sky, and shortly after this I woke up.

But yeah, kind of an odd, sort-of  ballet-related dream.