let me tell you a secret
When our teacher plays this Broadway song and we move from a passé to a développé, one leg extended with toes pointed high in the air while balancing on the other leg, holding this pose for a moment, its easy to believe that I am capable of something so beautiful merely because my body is doing what it loves to do.
Learning ballet is a lot of hard work but for the first time in my life I've never been so comfortable or so accepting of my body. Yes, there are days when I look at myself in the mirror and see nothing but flaws, but for the most part I've learned to accept and perhaps love my body just as it is. And it only took 30 years and a ballet class to see this.
On the other hand, I can also understand why a lot of young dancers have body image issues and eating disorders. When you are constantly surrounded by mirrors and are always thinking of how to create beautiful lines with your body while moving it in space, I can definitely see how this can cause a lot of pressure for a teenage girl who dreams of dancing professionally.
Fortunately for me, I came into this with no expectations whatsoever, so the past two months that I've been coming to the Academy of Ballet has been nothing but a positive experience. Had someone told me before that I'd be taking adult ballet classes, I'd have laughed and thought it impossible. And yet here I am now, at 30, learning the basics of classical ballet and loving every minute of it.
(Photo by Rachael Papo via A Cup of Jo)