no expiration date

It hit me today in ballet one of the things I am enjoying most about my classes. Sure, it is structure and means I’m not going out to eat from one end of Manhattan to the other end every night of the week (although I’m sure Yelp would love that!). And I’ve always wished I could dance better.

But you know what’s nice? There’s no deadline. I don’t have a presentation to give in x days. I don’t have to come up with a outlined plan of attack for a project. There’s no time frame for the website to fully transition from one platform to another. Nah nah nah nah. None of that.

Patience. Practice. Ultimately (and hopefully) a gradual improvement. But time lines? Yeah, throw that out the window. As adults, there’s no tu-tu to purchase. There’s no recital for which to cake on the make-up. It’s just another day, another try. Battle with yourself to learn. And the beauty is it’s at your own level.

I love looking around the room. There’s one lady who must be in her sixties. She naturally hunches over when we stand at the barre. But that’s okay. She modifies our moves to her capabilities. Upon hearing her speak of her prior years, it’s clear things were once very different for her, but now she’s continuing with what she loves in the means in which she can do so.

There’s one lady who’s daughter is part of their much more competitive level program, and she’s decided to dust off her slippers after some twenty years. She looked shamefully up at me today as she flubbed up some steps. I just smiled at her, wanting to tell her I didn’t really have any prior years’ worth of moves to dust off, but perhaps details better left for another day.

And then there’s one gentleman who they’d almost diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He questioned it, got a second opinion, and has instead taken it as a calling to take a more full-on shot at exercise and life since he’s found out he’s still got the capability.

And then there’s the young brave lad who’s the only young male of our crew. He’s jokingly the brunt of the teachers jokes, but it’s only because she knows he’s good. I remember someone telling him in class that he was so masculine off of the floor but so good during class. He told them it was easy — he long ago learned that during ballet, he needed to mirror the ladies around him, be lighter on his feet, and that was the best lesson he ever learned.

I’m still the worst in class, but it’s a title I’ll still don with pride. Today I left out of class with a smile on my face. Sure, I’m still the worst, but I’m competing with me. Just me. And I finally figured out how to pas de bourrée. I am oh so darn close to that jeté in our final floor sequence in class. And for me, that’s a winning battle.


11 thoughts on “no expiration date

  1. Oh! I miss dance so much. Some days I just want to do pas de buerre’s across the floor and tourjete’s in the hallway on the way to my office…

  2. That’s really cool that you feel that way, and that you’ve found something you enjoy so much.

    I wonder if there’s any gymnastics teams for us old, washed up gymnasts…hmmm…

  3. This note made such a strong impression on me that I discussed it with a new friend the other day. I enjoyed reading about the lessons it’s teaching you – how life is about the journey, and sense of humor and long-term perspective get you through with grace and wisdom.

    Well done, LJ.

  4. What a cute post! I love that you are having such a ball learning something new. I really really miss dance classes and want to get back into it again soon.

  5. Thanks for the encouragement and the compliment on the pic 🙂 I’ve really been enjoying adding another hobby into the mix.

    Annie – I’m sure you could find something for gymnasts. I think most things have an “adult” class of sorts offered. I think I’d die if young ballerinas were running amidst the class. Pass!

    Fat Tuesday this week got in the way of class and I forget what was up last Thursday, but I’ll be back in the studio tomorrow PM!

  6. I just started doing hot yoga and I am easily the worst in the class (as I am in most athletic oriented activities), but I love that you just keep trying to improve on your last class, not trying to be better than anyone else. I so related to this post! And yes, I am so so behind on reading your blog and am randomly catching up on a lame Friday night…

  7. Ooooh I just don’t know about hot yoga. It makes me want to pass out! Although, with my ballet classes I finally get the point of a hot studio in loosening up your muscles. Maybe that’s why (HURRAH!) I almost did the splits today. Big score.

    But kudos back to you. I figure everyone was in your shoes at some point in time. And who cares if it was 10 years ago, 6 months, or only 2 weeks. Hang in there 😉

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