I'm still plugging away at ballet class. It's held twice a week, and I try, as much as I can, to make it once a week.
If I could do twice, I would - but that usually doesn't happen. I really enjoy it. Most of it.
I don't enjoy the mirrors.
If I could dance without the mirrors, I would. When I look at my reflection, I'm deeply annoyed. I see flappy upper arms. I see a roll around my middle. I see thick legs and feet that look completely opposite my imagination. I see boobs that enter a room ahead of me and a great granny bra that leaks out of the sides of a leotard.
During the summer, the class was taught by a gay black male. I tell you that not to be the cause of any unrest, but because he was so clearly what one does not imagine when they hear the words Ballet teacher. He was one of, if not the, best ballet teachers I've ever had - I enjoyed the absolute hell out of his classes. They were offbeat, unusual, atypical and just - a blast. I felt stretched and challenged, but never overwhelmed. We were both taught in the old skool Russian method, and commiserating with him was a trip. He talked a blue streak the entire class, we laughed, and he just made everyone feel relaxed.
And we worked hard. Don't forget that.
He won't teach, now that the summer is over. He's moved on. Today we had class with the director of the school. She taught a great class, but it was a *different* class. The skill level was the same, but it was more serious. Don't get me wrong - she was a lovely lady and taught a very good class. It was just - different, you know?
As a result of the difference, I spent a lot more time criticizing myself, and I was not happy with what I saw. I started making mistakes - my head just wasn't in the game. I didn't like the way my arms looked. I didn't like the span of my back, the lack of height in my jumps - the longer the class went, the more discouraged I became.
It was like I'd never even taken a ballet class.
I wanted to enjoy it. And I did. But I enjoyed it differently.
(It didn't help that 90% of the people in that class were teeny tiny tiny tiny thin people.)
After the class ended, I thanked the teacher, and told her that I was sorry, my head just wasn't in the game. She smiled and said that she could see I'd had training, it was difficult to come back
and I interrupted her. I wanted her to understand that once upon a time, I'd been good. I'd been a dancer, a triple pirouetter, a full 6 o'clock penche (stand on one leg, and lean forward - the second leg goes up and up and up and your legs make a straight line - a 6:00 on the clock) and full split grand jete'r.
And I am so not that now. And, for some reason that I cannot fathom, I wanted her to know this about me. I wanted her to know that today's class wasn't representative of who I am - or, to be more correct, who I was - and that the next class, I'd work much harder and try to be better.
She reassured me again. It's an adult class, and you did well. It's hard to come back, and to be with all those skinny minnie dancers
And I just couldn't let it go and I interrupted her AGAIN.
What in the hell was wrong with me?
It was the mirrors. I am completely convinced that the mirrors drove me crazy today. I have to figure out how to get out of my own head, let go of my old expectations and just -