Spring, 2017

On Mondays I do ballet. This is my third Monday. At around 9:45 a.m. I gather my things (my slippers, spray antiperspirant, my wallet, a bottle of water) tuck them into my fake leather backpack, put on my high-tops, and walk to class. I live on Charles Street in student housing, near Bloor and Young, downtown. My class is at Queen’s Quay, near the water. It is an hour walk.

Today the weather was overcast. I brought my umbrella, but I’m glad I didn’t need it because its frame is so mangled from high winds that I don’t think it would have helped much anyway. I walked down Bay, then York, and then down Queens Quay. I looked at buildings, enjoyed the temperature.

I got to class with extra time, so I lingered near the quay for a stretch. The water is not very welcoming here. There isn’t a seawall that you can walk along, but rather, random spots where you can walk out to the water. There isn’t sand and beach; although, there is a man-made collection of sand that I have not visited yet called Sugar Beach. In pictures it looks like a litter box for adults. 

The studio we were in today is on the first floor. It overlooks a couple of busy streets and a patch of grass. Today while the teacher was instructing us, she stopped mid-sentence, gazed past me and said, oh look, horses. I was at the end of the barre, right in front of the window and as I turned to look, two horses walked by. Police horses.

Before and during class we do stretches. Today in our class there was a tall, extremely thin, real-ballet-looking person, with a bun-head and pointe shoes. When we took a break to stretch in the middle of class, she did the splits, I’m not even kidding. She was setting it up, I looked away, and when I looked back, she was fully split. I don’t know what was more shocking, the horses walking outside the studio or this broad doing the full splits. I just had my legs out in different positions. I don’t know what I’m doing.

To be continued.

-AJS

Featured Image: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Ballet, 1886

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