Filling Those Shoes: On Training Wheels and Stubborness

I apologize for not posting a new entry last week, but college has picked up.  I can’t make any promises, but I’ll try my best to keep this blog consistent.

Last Week…

I’m quite satisfied.  It’s just one of those classes where one feels like progress is being made.  My barre was good, and my center, well, let’s just say that my buttocks is quite intact.  Here’s a brief explanation about what I’m talking about when I refer to center: It’s just what it’s name implies.  The dancers go to the center of the room and practice compilations to practice certain moves, and the like.  Often, exercises at the barre become exercises in the center.  Of course, one does not have the barre to physically stabilize you.  In my case, I found this utterly embarrassing and terrifying.  Personally, the barre to a newbie like myself is very much like training wheels on a bicycle.  Do you remember when you got those training wheels off your bike?  It was terrifying because there was a very real possibility you might fall on your butt.  However, it was exhilarating and just plain fun.  That’s what center feels like to me.  I know that with practice I’ll get better, just like riding my bike.

This Week…

Adrian was out today.  He tweaked his calf whilst dancing and was unable to teach today.  Beth, who sometimes joins our class, substituted today.  Before I continue, let me make one thing clear: At this point, ballet is terrifying.  I feel way too old when I’m really not, and way too clumsy when I’m obviously coordinated enough to be a ballroom dancer.  But, that’s what trying anything new feels like, scary.  So, here I am, a bold newbie, used to Adrian’s way of teaching class and just getting comfortable with it, when a substitute appears.  I love Beth.  She’s nice, funny, and an excellent teacher.  But, she teaches differently, and it scared me a bit.  For example, she called me out on my mistakes twice during class, something completely necessary for my betterment, but a little embarrassing.  What made it different was the fact that she seemed very attentive towards my particular performance.  Adrian tends to focus on my more experienced classmates, then focuses on me after class, giving me little tips here and there.  Beth’s approach undoubtedly leads towards my betterment just as Adrian’s, but it plays on the fact that I can be quite shy when it comes to my art.

However if I just quit just because new circumstances made me uncomfortable, I wouldn’t be a singer, a ballroom dancer, and an avid actress.  If I want to get better, I have to adjust to the inevitable ebbs and flows of the learning process.  I intend to use my innate stubbornness to my advantage, just like everything else.  Things will get better.  I guess the primary reason I want to write these feelings down is because I want to better empathize with potential or newer ballroom dancers.  Most people I talk to that express interest in ballroom, or dance in general, are rather unwilling to pursue it.  It’s because trying something new is scary, and believe me, I understand that.  What I want them to realize, especially as fellow college students, is that the time is now.  I can think of no better time to experiment with several, non-illicit things than in college.  That’s why there are different majors and a plethora of clubs.

Honestly, when I reflect on my future life outside of college and dance together, it isn’t the prettiest picture.  I’ll probably have a job, or even a husband with that job.  I’ll have other commitments later, like children.  Inevitably, dance may (emphasis on that word) have to go on the back-burner.  That’s why I’m going to dance my heart out while I still have the luxury to do so.  Here’s to ballet, for challenging me to better myself not only physically, but personally as well.


The floor is yours now.

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