Once upon a time the Adult Beginner was not quite yet an adult, and many many years off from becoming a beginner.
The Adult Beginner was going to go to this fancy private college! For Science!
But then there was that one really sucky conversation about how there was no money and I was going to have to go to the nearby state university instead.
Which was so not cool because the nearby state university was way way too nearby and the pre-Adult Beginner wanted to have a college adventure somewhere less familiar.
Which was when, in a heroic effort to cheer me up, my best friend invented the awesomest game, entitled: Your College Boyfriend!
Here’s how to play: throw your mopey friend in the car, drive through campus on the way to that really cool café/used bookstore, point out the window at every cute college guy you see while yelling, Look! Over there! It’s your College Boyfriend!!!!!
Your mopey friend will probably cheer up and start to get excited about college. Worked for me.
Anyway, we got to that really cool café/ used bookstore, and I went to the counter. Ordered. Paid. Glanced down at the ticket. Saw a brief description the waitress had written to help her deliver silly cucumber sandwiches to the correct person.
“Dork. Purple T-shirt.”
Thought, ‘oh. Wow. She doesn’t even know me and she can tell.’
Took a second glance at the ticket and saw that it actually read:
“Dark Purple T-shirt.”
Felt relieved that my cover was still intact and strangers were not actually peering right into my very (dorky) soul, but at the same time maybe a little bummed? Like maybe I had a moment of freedom there?
But mostly relived. It is important to have your coolness firmly intact while gearing up for your way-to-close-to-home college adventure.
Thought about this recently while in ballet class.
I’ve found that it’s important to go ahead and let yourself be as uncool as possible in ballet class. Important to be clear that I know nothing! I’m full of uncool enthusiasm! My outfit is all wrong! I need help! Big dorky smile! Mark everything! Study vocabulary outside of class! Read history!
Embrace my inner purple t-shirted dork!


About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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8 Responses to Dork.

  1. white swan says:

    Thanks for this post! It’s hard for us adult beginners to realize it’s ok to be uncool in class. Although I obviously have no idea what’s going on in class, it’s easy to get caught up trying to mimic how the more experienced kids are doing things. Thinking, “please don’t notice that I don’t have a clue”. Although I’m sure the teacher can see the deer in headlights look in my eyes and hopefully interprets that as a plea for help.

  2. Acacia says:

    The more I learn, the dorkier I become. I was always too enthusiastic, too quick to show pleasure to actually be cool. Even now I am at the front of the class (avoiding the mirror..why an I standing there?) being a happy dork.

    • candice says:

      The front of the class rocks – no one to run into with clumsy long legs and arms. :)

      (I went to ballet from modern; therefore I had to spend a couple of years learning how to move smaller.)

  3. Natalie says:

    I can totally relate. For a long time I was even embarrassed to tell people I studied ballet–like they’d think I was stuck in childhood or something. Now I tell lots of people, and yeah, I feel like a dork. But how lucky am I to take ballet lessons while they struggle at the gym (BO-ring) or don’t exercise at all.

  4. Rebecca says:

    I love it! For me today, embrace the moment when your rump hits the ground trying to get that jump down right.

  5. Johanna says:

    It´s hard to let your inner dork out when the teacher tells you to be elegant. Thank goodness the same teacher tells us it´s okay to f*** up, we´ll just do it again :)

    Being a dork means stepping out of your comfort zone and not being afraid to fail and look silly in the process. But it will take you places!

    Yeah, let us all embrace our inner (ballet) dorks.

    Another terrific post, AB!

  6. o'fla says:

    I liked this.

    It sort of goes along with something one of my first (and a very good) ballet teacher used to tell us. He would say, “…when entering the ballet studio, you must leave your ego outside the door”.
    Otherwise one is too encumbered by that ego. It effectively gets in the way of learning.

  7. Even now when I take class, I don’t really when people are all stodgy and super-serious. I like a big mix of people where we can have fun, enjoy our dancing, and be… totally uncool. I am a ballet dork. Ironically, I think that’s what makes me good at teaching.

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