Forgive my silence this past week. Returning to one of the great loves of my life (ballet) recently, my evenings have been spent Googling such phrases as “improving your turnout” and “how to make a ballet barre” (they are ruddy expensive).
If, like me, you love ballet, you’ll know what it’s like to pore over websites promising a better arch, faster frappes or more fluid fondus. At the decrepit old age of 27, I’ve wondered why I’ve come back to this beautiful but demanding dance form, with my creaky knees and rusty footwork. Why not just join a gym, paying up to £100 a month for the pleasure of a few hours each week spent breathing in recycled air damp with sweat, running on the spot and avoiding deep stretches in front of gawking eyes? Isn’t that what most people do, isn’t that a standard, something comfortable?
My blog is not about women that automatically turn to the comfortble and standard. (For those of you who like gyms, wave your flag fiercely as I wave mine!)
I came across a beautiful dancer named Carla Escoda who has an engineering degree and returned to ballet after a 20 year hiatus. She now teaches ballet in San Fransisco and part of her amazingly fantastic manifesto includes A safe and well-lit place to unravel the mysteries of ballet and play with the building blocks of technique. A place where beautiful dancers come in all shapes and sizes. A place where it is okay to fail repeatedly in the process of mastery.
In an industry of perfection on display for everyone to see, Carla’s word underlined the passion in my heart to dance no matter what my turnout, technique or tumbling chairs in place of barres. And I hope I will still be doing that in my 50s after decades of non-practice. And I wish this for all of you. If there is something you love, do it because you love it, regardless of perfection or standard.
More: visit Carla’s inspiring website here (for non-ballet enthusiasts also!)