Monday, May 5, 2008

Well I started out down a dirty road...

Our ballet bar exam was this morning. Despite a slight lack of sleep and the evidence of Mifflin weekend still present around my hips, I think I did pretty well. Viv even said that he couldn't have been happier with our progress this semester.

Even if he had cussed us out for the hundredth time, I don't think that I would have left the class upset. I used to hate ballet when I was younger, and would half ass all the bar exercises in order to get to the fancy stuff: leaps, turns, tricky combinations that I should not have been attempting. Yet in the past semester, under Vivian's watchful eye, I have a new appreciation for the basics. This may be because attempting those leaps and turns would be a death wish now. Maybe it's because my intrinsic need for approval led to me working my ass off so that Viv would like me. Either way, I have sore muscles that I forgot existed, and I can execute some moves better than when I was a nimble ten year old with a 16 inch waist.

So right as I am beginning to appreciate ballet for the first time, the class is ending. I was starting to feel a little tinge of sadness when I saw that Viv teaches a summer class for both elementary and intermediate students. Conveniently located in the same building as my internship, on the same floor. It's like a sign from the ballet gods that I am not done with this yet.

Throughout the class, Viv has picked out a few people to try more difficult moves than the extremely basic exercises we try in class. Picture all the horrible jazzercise videos, and how one older woman is always doing the "low impact workout", while a Chyna look-alike is doing the whole thing while lifting 15 pound barbells. Having no idea where I stood, I decided to play it safe and do the regular exercises. Halfway through the class, Vivian hissed (no seriously he hissed) that I should be trying the more difficult moves. I obediently began lifting my legs higher, feeling the BURN that I used to avoid. Viv nodded each time, even when my legs were shaking like I was going through heroine withdrawls.

Taking this as a sign that I should sign up for the intermediate class this summer, I went to ask his permission to enter the second level. He looked at me incredulously, asking, "how many years of ballet have you had?"

I knew this was not going to end the way I had planned, so I just told the truth. Eight years of ballet, ending when I was twelve. He chuckled, patted me on the back, and told me he'd see me in the elementary class. Chyna I am not... and that's probably okay.