Los Angeles

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ballet Class Conundrums

Today's post is a bit of a rant...

I know that I need to get myself into a ballet class and soon.  I haven't been in so long and the fact that I'm often feeling sore just from days spent sitting at my computer is more than a little worrying!  But (and I will be totally honest here) I kind of hate taking ballet class.  Of course once I'm in it, I'm fine and afterwards I do always feel good and happy.  But it's giving myself the motivation to go that seems to be the tricky part...That and all the stuff that inevitably happens before plies.

photo from The Red Shoes

I hate going to my nearby studio and having to go through the process of purchasing a class card and getting talked into buying more classes that I realistically will not attend.   Furthermore, everytime I go they ask me if I'm a professional dancer and I have to say "yes, well no, sort of, well I used to be," and they continue to give me the 3rd degree until I have confessed every iota of my career and my love/hate relationship with ballet.  

Then, there's the dressing room.  The dressing room always seems to be the place where dancers go to brag and I hate even overhearing the stories of past triumphs and blatant name-dropping that always permeates this space.  So I change quickly just to get myself into the studio, but the atmosphere out there isn't much better.  While stretching and warming up before class, I always feel like everyone is sizing one another up.  The young ones - 17, 18, hungry and competitive - do their best to show off just how flexible they are, and as much as I want to go up to them and say, "listen, you don't have to prove anything, I'm sure you're fabulous," I know that wouldn't make a difference.  I was probably just as bad when I was their age. It's part of the culture.  

Then the whole pre-class drama wouldn't be complete without some old crazy ballerina lady telling me that I am standing at HER spot at the barre and she has stood there for 20 years and would I please move elseware!  Then, usually, it's time to start.

source
Once the music begins and we get into the safety of routine, I'm fine.  But it's all the lead up that I can't stand.  Now I know this all must seem a bit silly, and I also know, that even though so many of these things make me uncomfortable, I still need to go take class.  I'll be so happy afterwards, it will all be worth it.  But it's the getting there that makes it hard.  

Starting tomorrow I'm going to look into taking some more classes around town, maybe at a few different studios, so if any local Los Angelenos have any suggestions of new places let me know... Otherwise I may just have to brave the usual shenanigans of my regular studio.  Yikes!  

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