My week of dancing was taking its toll on me, but I could not miss out on the dance class I had been thinking about since before I even bought my pass: ballet.
I was nervous. The little ballerina inside of me was raring to go, and my bruised ego was even more exhausted than my physical body. “Exhausted” wasn’t a bad state for my bruised ego to find itself in, as it usually cared less about doing things right, even if it was pessimistic and sluggish about motivation.
It was a nostalgia trip. I danced in my ankle socks because I didn’t have proper shoes, but that was okay. There was a good 7 other people in there with me and we quietly and calmly went through ballet exercise after ballet exercise set to classical music. I pushed myself up against my limits, respecting where I was as a dancer. I felt rusty and the youngest in the room; I realized later it was some form of impostor’s syndrome. At least impostor’s syndrome is just an illusion.
There were really only a couple of times that I wanted to give up. The first time was when one of the exercises required every ballerina in the room to rest their leg up against the bar. This puts your toe higher than your hips and I wasn’t ready to try that. I waved the teacher over and she gave me a modified version where I could keep my foot closer to the ground while still stretching myself. One day, I’ll be able to do this move with ease.
The second was when we were running across the floor and “I am hopelessly uncoordinated” ran across my brain. I could easily get lost when it came to leading with my right or my left, and it always took a few minutes of real thinking to figure out which leg was being demanded of me. I would modify what the other dancers were doing (they were leaping across the floor) so that I could keep up. Bless the teacher, but at some point she insisted that I jump. So I did, and it felt nice that I didn’t screw it up completely.
It felt so good. I walked home tired, yet energized in the afterglow of a great workout. I could feel the hook, firmly in my heart. I knew I needed to dance again and soon.
NOTE: As a budding filmmaker, I am highly inspired by how invigorating dance is. I want to shoot a series of Dance Gives Me Life videos around Washington, D.C. I want to showcase the city, showcase different kinds of dance, and most of all, showcase how dance gives me and others life! If you’re a dance or a filmmaker local to Washington, DC and this sounds invigorating to you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.