Thursday, June 26, 2008
Grit City Ballerina Is In The House
The Gritty City Woman has taken up ballet. Seriously.
I had my first adult basic ballet class with the Jo Emery Ballet School last night. When I asked Jo about the class, she warmly welcomed me to join the group and said that the class is very loving and gentle. So, I have wanted to try a dance class since forever (the last time I did ballet was at age eight). I require “gentle” and I dig “loving.” I was in. I eagerly purchased my pretty pink ballet slippers right after I signed up for the class.
Now when I told others what I would be doing, I got lots of laughter and snickers. Some thought it was an “I’m almost 40 years old” thing. Sure, it is a little. I just want to dance. I loved watching my 6 year old daughter practice. It looked fun and like good exercise.
So, off I headed to ballet class, in the heart of gritty South Tacoma by the train tracks, not knowing what to expect. Jo said I could wear whatever I wanted, as long as I had ballet slippers. I wore my favorite twill shorts that I got in Hawaii that were dyed in beer. I had on my favorite Lucky Brand T-shirt with a ying-yang symbol and a huge number thirteen on it. I had my long hair loose with a small barrette to hold my bangs back.
I was happily met by Jo and other members of the small class. The class members were so kind and many of them had been taking classes for a long time. They were from all kinds of professions and backgrounds. I felt happy to be there despite the fact
that everyone else had on nice, confident looking, dance style clothes (except me, who looked like I’d been to the beach) and that I was also the youngest person there. But hey, I thought I should be able to do this. I am me. I should be able to keep up. No problem.
We started at the barre. I liked that. The stretching felt great, the music was mesmerizing. I goofed up some moves here and there, but recovered. It was a good start and I was working up quite a sweat despite the cooling fans blowing near by.
And then we moved to the floor. Yikes! This was tough for me. When the class went to the right, I went to the left. Sometimes my feet wouldn’t go the way I wanted them to. I was sweating like a pig and getting tired. My hair was in my way, my shirt was too hot, my shorts started to chafe, and my slippers felt like they were pinching my toes. But I did it. I did leaps! Spins! Jumps! The other dancers and Jo, moved gracefully and beautifully. AWESOME! I looked like I was doing some kind of bizarre martial arts. But so what! I didn’t fall down, hurt other people, or break equipment. The class graciously reached out to help me and encourage me when I struggled. It worked. And I worked. And when I got some steps right, it felt like I was flying in the sky. I worked hard and when I left for the night, I had some stiffness and soreness, but in a good way.
When I got home, I kicked back with a nice, ice cold beer. Ah, dance! The Gritty City Woman way!
So, back I go next Wednesday to give it another go.
I will be chronicling my dance experiences here sometimes and on http://grittycitywoman.blogspot.com. Stop by and join the fun and laughter as I embark on my summer of dance! Thanks Jo and the gang!