Tag Archives: dance

A woman walks into a barre… Adventures in adult ballet

Like many girls, I took dancing from a very early age. I experienced the gamut of beginners ballet, from dressing up in a bunny outfit and hopping around the stage to donning a tutu (handmade by my amazing mum) and taking graded exams. I didn’t suck.


Mum-made tutu!

When I was about nine, my teacher handed me a book and told me to learn it. Inside was a collection of terms like battement tendu and port de bras. I took one look at it and decided to hang up my ballet shoes. I wanted to dance, not learn bloody French. (Thinking back, it may have not been the wisest decision. But I was nine, what the heck did I know?)

Many, many, many years later, I started to wonder what it would be like to take lessons again. I figured it would be an amazing strength workout. And I’d kill to have the poise – and legs – of a dancer.

You call this beginners?

My first foray back into ballet was a disaster. Arriving at an alleged “beginners” class, I found a bevy of skinny young things limbering up in pink ballet skirts and cardigans, their hair expertly bunned, their feet perfectly turned out. Beginners in what universe? It was humiliating – and I couldn’t walk properly for a week.

Eighteen months later, having finally gotten over the trauma, and because I am a masochist, I decided to give ballet another shot. I recently started a 10-week adult course in Harvard Square. I thought it would nicely complement my run training.

There are few endeavors in life in which staring at yourself for two hours in a giant mirror is not only perfectly acceptable but encouraged. And there’s nothing like staring at yourself in a giant mirror for two hours to make you realize you now totally and utterly suck.

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