It's been over a year since I started taking adult ballet classes, and my only regret is that I didn't go back sooner. Better late than never, though, right? These days I go to class once a week; sometimes, when I am feeling ambitious, I go twice a week. The rare times when a week passes without any dancing, it feels like something is wrong.
I am not great at it. You don't have to be great at it to really enjoy it. I like it because it's challenging. It's slow, it's quick, it takes every part of you, from your fingertips to your toes. It forces you to leave the rest of the day at the door. Did I mention how good of a workout it is? Because it's a heck of a good workout. Every time I walk out of the studio I leave happily exhausted.
I was lucky enough to see PNB's last Sendak Nutcracker over the holidays, Don Quixote last month, and will be seeing Swan Lake next month – and though I have always loved going to the ballet, it is a richer experience now. Those dancers are what inspire me, when I myself am standing at the barre, to arch my foot a little more, to go deeper into a plié, to better anticipate the next step before the beat comes.
I may not be great but I am getting better. My slippers have become soft and frayed, and they have kept their place on top of my dresser, nestled together when not in use.