I am starting to remember some people from my class: the sweaty guy in the bicycle shorts (who always has a towel, for the sweat), the girl with the ballet outfit (pink tights, black bodysuit, pink wrap skirt, bun head), the grey-haired guy with tubes coming out of his ears who cannot sauté (I noticed this today, he doesn’t point his toes), the super-tall woman, the senior lady who is maybe in her seventies (I was next to her on barre today), the brunette that doesn’t look like me but I can see how people could mix us up. It makes me wonder what I am to other people, because someone must notice me each week. Girl at the end of the bar. Girl in the teal sports bra. Girl with the neck hump. Girl who is sweaty. Girl in her thirties. Who knows. I hope I’m remembered for my epic leaps this week: girl who put her whole being into her sideways leaps and is now paying the price with a sore-hip-old-lady injury.
It’s so interesting to see adults try hard at ballet exercises. This is a beginner class, and even if we were good dancers at one point, we’re not now. The moves are complicated, the combinations are hard to remember, but everyone just goes. Even me. I’m the first volunteer for everything. When we travel sideways across the room in groups of three, it’s usually me, the guy with the ear tubes, and the girl in full ballerina regalia that get to the front first. It’s fun to just go, but I feel like I must also stress that we are genuinely trying to do well (unselfconsciously, I must also add). There was one sequence today that was just beyond all of us and it was hard not to laugh at everyone attempting. It was just the most uncoordinated thing I’ve ever seen, and I’m including myself in this, I was laughing at myself too: middle-aged ballerinas flinging their arms, gracelessly chassé-ing, lifting their feet like clumsy toddlers. I felt like I was in a short story.
Featured Image: Henri Matisse, La Danse, 1910