Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Ballet

Désir by James Kudelka with Anik Bissonnette and dancer Louis Robitaille Photo: Cylia Von Tiedemann

It's funny how sometimes a picture in a newspaper can trigger a memory. Today, it was a picture of a pair of ballet dancers. This brought back a fond memory for me, of the ballet, and everything about it.

When I was little, I was friends with a girl who was taking ballet lessons. I would go to her house and drool over her point shoes, her practice shoes, and costumes with tutu. I sooo wanted to be able to take ballet lessons, but they were hideously expensive in those days, and it was not something that was 'in the books' as they say. But I always harvested a keen interest in the ballet.

When I grew up, and went to CEGEP, one of my friends was from a cultured family, with the Mom being a ballet dancer in her younger years. The family purchased reserved season seats for the symphony and the ballet. Sometimes it was impossible for the family to attend every single performance, so they would offer up the tickets to their daughter and her friends. This was my first opportunity to attend my first live ballet. It was Les Grands Ballets Canadiens performing Carmina Burana, and it was simply awesome. At other times, I saw the Firebird Suite and The Nutcracker, also by Les Grands Ballets.

I continued this interest into my early adulthood. When I worked in the downtown part of the city, I signed up for adult ballet lessons, which was offered as a fitness class. I was in seventh heaven. I bought little practice shoes, and warmup leggings, and special practice leotards. But, I soon realized that it was tough work! My poor muscles were already old at the tender age of 30! I finished the set of lessons, but did not continue. I went the way of other adults....I became a gym geek.

To this day, though, I still have this fascination with the ballet, and all things associated with it. You see, there was a facility in our area that was offering beginner ballet classes for adults. I was mildly interested. I say mildly, because I am already consumed during the week with the gym (and I remembered that fitness class experience, and that whole new set of undiscovered muscles). Doing something like this would distract from my gym circle which I love, AND, I also had a morbid fear that I would be the only adult showing up to do something like this. So I panned that idea. Smart choice I think.

Maybe that is why I am so strongly connected to the fitness world. I don't know. But if you ever see me around a pair of ballet shoes or fancy crinkled tutus...look out.

Because I'll be drooling, and will always be trying to fill that little space in my memory.


Shelby said...

thanks for sharing your ballet memory :)

jeweledrabbit said...

I took ballet lessons when I was a kid too. Unfortunately, I was overweight and a klutz, so my career as a ballerina was short-lived. LOL

jeweledrabbit said...

I'll bet you I'm the only one of your readers who knows what "CEGEP" means. ;)

Jeni said...

As an only child, the only thing I "drooled" over was babies - always wanted a brother or sister. When I was almost 7 years old, the family who moved in next door to us had 13 children, several grandchildren already then too, and I latched on to that family with everything I had! I practically lived over at their house for much of my growing up years, just to be around so many kids my age, younger, older - just so many people. It was heaven!

terry said...

i'm a big ballet-loving dork myself. i loooooooove it!

Carrie said...

I love ballet too. I took lessons when I was younger, for 10 years! I might still have my pointe shoes somewhere. But once I hit puberty, I just wasn't as stretchy as everyone else, so I stopped taking lessons, rather than look like the awkward one that doesn't really know what she's doing. I still love to watch it though. I've taken the hubby a few times, and he likes it too! :) Guess I got lucky there.