After my last dance class, I knew I needed to do more dancing as soon as I could. It felt so good to be that active, to be called on to show up so physical and powerful. I was hooked on a fantastic drug that was actually good for me.
The twist was my schedule. I was coaching a Self-Expression and Leadership Program until November and had signed up for an acting class and improv class. This effectively shut down three of my evenings, not to mention all the extra work involved in preparing for them. Where was I going to fit the dancing? Did I have the money for it? Was I being too crazy not focusing and committing to one art?
I set that all aside and followed my gut. And my gut took me to The Washington Ballet. While the Joy of Motion taster had been beyond scrumptious, their drop-in classes weren’t designed for absolute beginners like me and their intro classes were sequenced at inconvenient times that would mean I would need to be absent for several classes. And I don’t want to miss a single chance to dance.
The Washington Ballet concentrated on one form of dance, had a generous schedule (ballet every day!) and had similar pricing to Joy of Motion. They didn’t have a series of classes, just drop-ins so I could show up and not show up and still get all the ballet I ever wanted.
Again, it was a Sunday. I was up at 7am, ready to take the bus across town to dance. The bus conveniently stopped right in front of The Washington Ballet. I bought my shoes and almost burst into a million particles at the joy of holding them and wearing them on my feet.
The classroom was huge and airy, with bars on three sides of the room. I watched as people of all ages and sizes trickled in: there was the male ballerina who I figured to be a professional (the teacher used him to model moves) and a girl who I guessed was in high school, dropped off by her mother. There was a trio of Spanish speakers and one old lady who went for it until the muggy heat had her sit down because of her health. And when the teacher breezed in, elegant, with that old school quality you’d expect from a ballet maestra, you could feel a hum as this motley group of ballet enthusiasts got down to business. Because who else would be willing to come out for a Sunday morning class like this?
Where I’d felt so out of my depth during my week at Joy of Motion, I felt welcome and embraced at The Washington Ballet. I loved being one of a diverse group of dancers from all walks of life, participating in an art form out of sheer love. That final ballet class at Joy of Motion did help, as The Washington Ballet class followed a similar structure (exercises at the bar, exercises away from it, runs across the floor), just eased down to meet the very beginner.
The addiction was on.