Friday, December 22nd, 2006 10:47:10

Going to Ballet Class

I had thought about going to a ballet class for over a year, and finally got up my nerve.

Tonight after I fed my children I began to get dressed in my old ballet clothes My tights had holes in them and were to short in the crotch. My guess is that they were my sisters’ tights as I have not gotten taller and can still fit into my high school jeans. I dressed in plain black tights and an orange long sleeved leotard with a skirt. It was either that or the sleeveless royal blue leotard with the piping on the skirt, bust and dropped waist. I was once caught outside wearing it in my front yard by a neighbor driving by, let’s just say she almost wrecked she was laughing so hard.

I went a bit early to class hoping to catch the dance store still open and thank goodness it was. I was able to change from my orange skirted leotard to pink tights and a plain purple leotard. Now I was ready to begin.

There were a few dancers lined up outside the door to the studio. We were waiting for the class before us to finish, the piano music was coming through the door and the expectant students were stretching and talking. I felt a bit like an imposter as most were younger and thinner than I am. But I held steady and did not cut and run.

Once the prior class was over we moved into the studio and took our places at the bar. Again the other students began to stretch. This time I joined in and began to feel my muscles loosen up. The teacher, not recognizing me, asked if I was new, I replied that I had not danced in a while (I forgot to mention that I quit dancing before she was born).

The teacher seemed satisfied with my answer and proceeded to move along at a pace that appeared to be more intermediate than beginner, but I was able to keep up (at least my feet if not my arms and head) by following the dancers in front of me. It became a bit tougher once we moved to floor work and routines after the first 45 minutes. We would go in groups of 2 or 3 and I would try to go last and in the back.

Our teacher was very helpful and encouraging, giving me a few tips on how to improve, but not criticizing. She taught everyone differently based on their level and ability (more than I can say for most business managers, but I daresay she loves her work and her students are their by choice, this is not always the same case in business).

After class my legs were trembling and I headed home for advil and a hot bath to combat the sore muscles. My favorite part of my whole night was coming home and seeing my first graders note on my pillow “Mommy I hope you had fun at ballet class tonight. I love you.”

Sweetheart, I did have fun. Love Mom.

It was fun and exciting to be dancing again. It has been twenty-four years since my last ballet lesson, longer than my babysitter for tonight has been alive. I have to admit that I am thinking of going again.

By the way, the classes at the Atlanta Ballet are one of the best deals in the city 1.5 hours of instruction for $14 ($13 if you purchase a series of 10). Maybe I will see you there next week.