Roller-coaster of a week, you guys.
Had my usual two adult open level ballet classes, with Smirnoff.
But class #1 I was all like:
Moan! Poor me! Tiny-est violin! Hand on forehead! Alas!
Then Class #2 I was all like:
Yeah! (pumps fist) That’s whut I’m talkin’ bout!
Trying to figure out why I was so Morrissey about the first class. I mean, whenever people around me are all mope-ity mope-mope I just assume they haven’t had anything to eat, but, you know, clearly my feelings are legit and not due to stupid stuff like low blood sugar.
Why so serious?
Maybe it’s:
One of the nice things about being an adult beginner is that there is no younger, more fearless, more hip-less version of you to compare yourself to. You’re never being mocked by your past abilities. Just by purchasing slippers an adult beginner does more than her past self.
An adult beginner starts at zero, every little thing is a win.
And yet-
An adult ballet beginner maybe has certain unspoken, unshattered expectations? Like, maybe the secret but really firmly held belief that she is Totally a Natural and that it is a freakin’ crime that the world will never know the balletical genius that, with proper training, could have been?
And then, as an adult beginner advances through the first year and a quarter of ballet classes she watches as the harsh magnified sunbeam of reality fries each tiny little ant of expectation?
I’m naturally flexible! Bzzt! No!
I’m naturally turned out! Zzerp! No!
I’m a natural jumper! Bzzp! Uh-uh.
I’m a natural turner? Zerrmp! Nope.
Naturally graceful? Frzzzt! No.
And then it’s clear that you are a little bit of all of these things but exceptional at none of them?
And then you drive home from class all emo singing along with the radio about how only rocks and stones accept your love so you’re throwing your arms around Paris, or however that song goes?
And then two days later you’re driving home from class totally pumped because that day there was a different set of exercises and some of them you totally owned, like you totally made those ronde des jambes a la air your bitch, and then you’re like Woah, dudes. Ballet is a crazy ride.

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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14 Responses to E-ticket

  1. Hiccup42 says:

    We did ronde des jambes a la air for the first time in class yesterday. I owned them too, after they were properly explained. *high five*

  2. amykauai says:

    Hah! I have SO done all of the things you mention, right down to the singing on the way home. Sometimes I forget how many guts it takes to be an adult beginner. I was talking to a friend about starting and she sort of freaked out when we got to the buying slippers part.

    • Freaking out like omg-yay?
      Freaking out like, ‘Really? I can buy these and not be a poseur?!’
      I mean, not that anyone would over-think a slipper purchase that much…cough…hey, is that Elvis over there? (running away in other direction now)

      • amy says:

        I think it was the poseur! She asked me several times if she could just wear jazz shoes….I think she was thinking, then if I totally blow it, I will be in jazz shoes, so no one will think I really thought I could do ballet anyway! I know, I’ve been there!

  3. Most definitely! I had one class that made me want to hide under a rock, but the next one was incredible. None the less, I always leave happier than I arrived.

    Yeah, wasn’t a fan of the day I realized I am NOT naturally turned out. Bummer.

    • True dat.
      Even when the Adult Beginner exits class as a big messy bundle of moodiness, at least somewhere in there is the dorky perma-grin yay-I-did-ballet mood. Although sometimes the other moods make fun of that mood because it’s uncool to be enthusiastic.
      Those other moods are bitches, yo.

  4. Acacia says:

    WORD! Every class I get the reminder that 1) just because I can touch my toes it does not make me particularly flexible, and 2) I am over 40. I haven’t been taking classes long enough to have a really suck-ass one (yet) but I know it’s coming. That is the nature of the Melancholy Swan…

    Yea! Another Adult Beginner post!!!

  5. Juliet says:

    Love your posts…truly.

  6. Kirsteen says:

    This post made me so happy since I had a similar ‘I’ll never be good at this’ moment during class the other day. I love your blog!

  7. Every single thing you said. Yes.

    My typical week usually includes one SUPER beginner class in which I feel like a super star (and am treated like one), two intermediate classes that are the perfectly challenging and doable (which makes me feel even awesomer), and one pre-professional class that makes me feel like a stumbling idiot.

    You nailed it when you typed “rollercoaster.”

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