I didn't want a school that would put a three-year-old onstage. I wanted to school that took dance seriously, a place where she would learn all of the things that she needs to learn, and that had the potential to move her further if she had the desire as well as the skill. I thought about every school in the area, discarding them one by one.
I knew there was one school that met the criteria, although it is not in my city. It would mean a 20 to 25 minute drive, but I was willing to do it. After all, it's near the musical training my opera singing daughter attends. I went downtown to the school, sat in on a class, and found everything to be exactly as I remembered. There were six studios, classes full but with a good teacher/student ratio, and absolutely zero discipline issues that I could see. Excellent floors. I know the school well - you see, I had trained there for a year when I was 20. Right before I got married, when I more than halfway thought about becoming a professional ballet dancer. It is one of the best schools in the area, in my opinion, and, like I said - I know an awful lot about dance. So I signed her up for a six-week dance camp, one class a week. While I was there, I asked about adult classes. And then, without even thinking about it, I paid for a single class. For myself. I was alternate parts euphoric and petrified, but I thought that, well - I could try one class and see how it went.
And then today happened.
I grabbed my new leotard and tights - I'd ordered a set for myself when I ordered my daughter's - and my old slippers (found in my dance bag, holes in the toes and super broken in, just the way I like them) and started driving. To say that I was nervous would be a gross understatement. What if I hated it? What if I was the fattest person in the classroom? What if I couldn't remember anything? What if everyone laughed when they saw me there? Ballet dancers don't have tattoos. OR six kids. What in the hell was I doing, going back to a ballet class, at age 43, when I haven't danced for close to 15 years? What if I was absolutely terrible? I'm usually fairly self-critical, but I thought that I was a pretty good dancer - maybe I had exaggerated my dance skills all those years ago. Maybe, there was no way the world I would belong in this class.
I drove. I called my mom and talked to her and decided To Heck with it - I'd already given myself a nervous stomach and I had to pee AGAIN and I was really pissed off with myself for even debating the issue. You are going, and that's it, so stop even thinking about it!
I arrived at the school. No one was there. Doors were locked, lights were off, no one answered the doorbell. I went back to my car and I did my hair, remembering the high bun and the bangs back from my face - a look I haven't sported in, well, forever.This is ridiculous - maybe no one will have their hair up. But, it's a really professional school - of course everyone will have their hair up.
No one came.
I told myself that it was early, class didn't start for twenty minutes. Fifteen minutes. Ten Minutes. Five minutes. Four other students arrived, but I sat in my car, too nervous to get out - because, really, I probably didn't belong here. No one had their hair up, no one had tights on - I started to feel like a first class fool, someone that was taking this whole thing WAY too seriously.
And a teacher never showed. I left thirty minutes after the class was set to begin, after the other students hugged and kissed and waved good bye and I wondered what, indeed, was I doing there.
I left a message and no one called me back.
And I'm left wondering if I should try the Friday class, or get the message and give it up, already.
All of that angst, wasted. I was *exhausted* and I hadn't even done anything.