Those fifteen little words you never want to hear

So there we are, doing the center work part of class.
There’s a pause between exercises, and Smirnoff uses this moment to look over at me and say,
“Do you know why your pirouettes are not working?”
I say no?
Then he says those fifteen little words you never ever want to hear, whether you are man, woman, child, ballerina or other, in class or out:
“My Dear, since your return from your work trip, your weight is up five pounds.”
There was no time to Duck-And-Cover, the big fat weight-bomb just totally exploded in my face.
My thoughts were these:
Thought 1. “Fuck! I knew I should’ve worn the black leggings today! Stupid pink tights, giving away all my secrets.”
Thought 2. “He totally nailed it. Five pounds. That is, like, scary accurate.”
Thought 3. “I am going to cry now.”
Thing is, Thought 3. is not the thought I would usually have. The Adult Beginner is pretty realistic. What he was saying was factual, not a surprise, and was not said to hurt.
But the other thing is, since my return from my work trip, I have been counting calories like never before.
No I mean really. I have never counted calories before. Too much math. How ya gonna do math when you’re hungry and feel like a fatty-fat-fat?
Anyway, thing is, I showed up for the evening class already tired and hungry, having had only half of my allotted calories for the day (as per the ‘Lose It!’ app, which counts calories for me), feeling virtuous for saving some calories for that glass of wine I knew I’d want with dinner later, and therefore was totally defenseless against the weight bomb.
He continues,
“Every time your weight goes up or down, your sense of balance changes. This is perfectly normal.”
I tell him that he is correct, five pounds up is exactly what happened.
He claps and says, “You see! I knew it! Where would you be without me?”
And I think, “Where would I be?! I’d be here in class, believing that no one can tell! That would’ve been just fine! I’d be practicing the next exercise, not holding up the entire class with my Jabba-sized embarrassment!”
Something must have reminded him that women don’t really dig public discussions of their weight, or maybe the clue was my trembling bottom lip; Smirnoff repeated that it was perfectly normal and moved on.
Which left me the rest of class to get through without crying.
I tried a few tricks:
Mentally slapped myself across the cheeks while yelling, ‘Get a hold of yourself! The Adult Beginner does not cry in class!’
Tried to think of jokes. Imagined I was wearing the Giant Chicken Head. Which worked pretty well actually, I recommend it.
After class I’m converting my (traitorous) pink tights and pulling on my shoes as fast as I can when TripleGee says, “so, did you go up or down? ‘Cause you look great. I was sure he was going to say something to me next. God I hate it when he does that.”
And then I made it to the car where, Gentle Reader, I promise I did not cry.
There was just something in my eye. That’s all.
Come to think of it, I don’t know why he brought up my weight gain in reference to pirouettes. My weight could go up down or sideways, I still have never done a complete pirouette.


About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
This entry was posted in Technique and Class, the Body and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Those fifteen little words you never want to hear

  1. Bead_109 says:

    My tormentor, uh, I mean teacher, refers to the fluctuations of my total mass as “the weight” as if it were it’s own zip code.

    • Ha!
      That is terrible!
      And kind of hilarious!
      And I swear, I wouldn’t have been so emo about it if I hadn’t been so hungry.
      Guess next time I’d better have a snack before class. A Healthy snack.

  2. cloe108 says:

    Your blog so true, at one of my dance classes I got told by my male teacher loudly in front of the whole class that i have gain 5 pounds, i was so upset

  3. I am so sorry that you had this experience! It is not how I recommend a teacher handle such a situation, though surely it was meant with the best intentions as you say. Sometimes people in the dance world just don’t edit themselves on that kind of thing. Rest assured, your weight will go back to normal simply from you getting back to class after being off for your trip. Don’t let this get you down!

  4. Catherine says:

    Ohhh. Not nice! I’m sure that there are many, many people who can relate to this post!
    BTW–I use “Lose It” too and it rocks!
    Don’t let ’em see you sweat. ; )

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