Forget the ballet, I want to watch the class

ballet feet

I’ve always been fascinated by the process behind completed works of art. It all started back in high school when I studied modern dance and ballet (and almost gave my mom a heart attack with my plan to skip college to become a dancer—a plan that didn’t materialize—I stopped dancing and went to college).

What I remember loving most about dancing was waiting in my leotards and leg warmers for the advanced students class to end before my class began. How I loved to watch the dancers jete and pirouette, and when they fell off balance the teacher (who had danced with the Ballet Russe, was never sick a day in her life and could still lift her leg up and touch her ear), would clap her hands and snap, “again!”

Two young women mesmerized me – a tall willowy dark-haired beauty who moved like seaweed underwater and never broke a sweat, and an athletic fiery red-head who sprang like a jaguar from one end of the room to another. They would try and try again until they completed miraculous numbers of perfect pirouettes. I had no desire to see them perform on stage, costumed and made-up under a spotlight. The magic was behind-the-scenes, in the warm crowded dance studio, with duffel bags overflowing from chairs on the side of the room, a pianist playing in the corner, scuffed ballet slippers and sweaty leotards, the beautiful athleticism of bodies pushed to the limit, aching, tired, and finally, combining strength, grace, musicality, and poetry together into sheer beautiful movement.

Perhaps this post is a bit of a tangent, but it’s important, because what happened to me in my teens in that dance studio was the impetus for creating my website and this blog; to dig into the process of creating.

What do you think?