Returning to ballet class after a 15 year absence was difficult. It was physically difficult – for three days after my first class, my feet were cramped. My leg muscles were sore as if I'd run any race, and my core was even sore.
Not as sore as my calves though. Wow, they were sore.
For reasons beyond my control, I missed two classes, and then went to another. So I have, at this time, taken two classes. And those classes were ridiculously humiliating. I was very good when I was younger. I'm not trying to boast, but, I was. Now? Um, no.
That's such a fine line, isn't it? If you're boasting, or if you're being modest, or if you're telling the truth. Nobody can really ever know. So you just go with what you think, and hope like crazy that everyone doesn't think you're a braggart.
In my mind, I'm still a good dancer. I can still feel it in my body when I do things correctly, and I mostly can tell when I have my placement incorrect. My legs do not go as high as they used to, my feet don't pointe as well as in years past, and my balance – well let's not even talk about my balance. In years past, I could do a triple pirouette without preparation. Just turn. Now? Well, now, I struggle with doing a single neatly.
It is super frustrating. It also is very humbling, and even humiliating at times. So I try, as much as I can, to avoid looking in the mirrors. I try to get out of my own head and just move. To enjoy being there, to learn, to relieve some stress, and to dance once again.
But oh, man, is it humbling. Especially, especially when a professional dancer comes in to take class, and you know that, once upon a time, you were just that good.