Things you should never ask women, and other adult ballet issues

So, other day before class one of the girls tells Smirnoff that she’s got a bun in the oven.
You know, she got a Special Project in the works. You know.
Which seems to be one of the particular issues about teaching ballet to adults: an any moment any one of your female students might fall pregnant and be gone, bam, just like that! Might come back in a few months, might never come back!
It’s happened to like four or five of my classmates in the past almost-two years I’ve been taking Smirnoff’s class, and only one has come back to class and she is always late. Like, shows up in time for barre adagio late.
So anyway, Little Mamma tells Smirnoff, everyone cheers and congratulates her, lots of cheek-kissing, and then Lé Assistant turns to me and says, “Well now, what about you? You’re the only one left!”
And I was like woah. Woah. Oh Hell to the no she didn’t ask me that!
I mean seriously, I’d say ‘why havent you had children yet’ is right up there on the list of Things You Never Ask Women, or at least Things You Never Ask Women Who Aren’t Your Close Buddies, right along with ‘why aren’t you married’ and ‘when’s the baby due or are you just fat’
I mean cause the thing is you just Never Know who’s going to crack a joke and who is gonna burst into tears and run crying out of the studio.
But you know the Adult Beginner is smooth, so I just said, “well, I don’t think I’m the only one left. What about (high-school girl who was not in class that day)?” and Lé Assistant was like, “oh haha! But she’s only in high-school haha! Let’s not rush her!” and I was like Damn Straight.
So anyway, class starts and Smirnoff takes special care to make the everyone work really hard, especially Little Mamma, while, as he says, she still can.


About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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20 Responses to Things you should never ask women, and other adult ballet issues

  1. 4dancers says:

    Great post! Laughed out loud! :)

  2. odile53 says:

    Just hope Little Mamma is physically strong enough to control her temporarily increased flexibility so that she doesn’t strain something. If you don’t realize that you’re suddenly much more flexible, thanks to those pregnancy hormones, you really can sprain something if you’re caught off guard. Then of course there is the balance issue.

    I did ballet through my seventh month, but stopped pointe at month five, when I couldn’t maintain balance effectively anymore. I continued to do rises en pointe facing the barre with both hands on it through months five through seven to maintain my foot strength, fighting valiantly the battle to not sink into a morass of despair and reliving my beginning pointe days.

    Beyond seven months, it can get really scary! I went back after six weeks after my son was born, with a very well-fitted bra under a tank top that I wore under a leotard.

    • Hannah says:

      This is really awesome! If I ever have children, I want to try and take ballet through as much of my pregnancy as possible.

    • Little Mamma is a pretty experienced dancer, so I bet she’ll be able to recognize new flexibility for what it is, but I’m glad you mentioned it as I’ve never heard that before, and I can imagine, if it were me, just being like ‘Whee! My flexibility has improved due to all my hard work!!’ without realizing there’s another explanation.

  3. Alli says:

    SO TRUE! I absolutely agree, never, EVER ask a woman when she’s going to have a baby! Ever since we got married, people seem to think its now ‘appropriate’ to ask that question; my husband in particular fields that one from the people he works with on a fairly regular basis. Honestly, what if we desperately wanted children, but were have fertility problems? What if I’d had a lot of miscarriages? It can be a touchy issue! Sheesh people, stop asking! My husband has gotten annoyed now and tells people either that I’m pregnant with another graduate degree, or that we have two cats instead of kids; both responses are usually shocking enough to get people to stop talking! HA! Take that insensitive people!

    • Yeah, exactly, at best it’s an annoying question, at worst it might be a source of great sorrow. Either way not casual chit-chat!
      How about asking for pointers? Something like, “well we would like children, but we’re not sure how. Can you show us?”
      And then just sit back and enjoy the stammering, blushing, and back pedaling!

  4. This post is so timely, as I am currently in my 7th month of pregnancy with my 1st child!! I’ve been able to stay in ballet and jazz classes the whole time so far, but I’m really thinking that this month might be my last, at least for the jazz class :( I totally credit dance and yoga to keeping me in shape throughout this pregnancy and helping me to not gain an unreasonable amount of weight (20 lbs so far). I plan on coming back after 2 months to class (it’ll coincide with the start of summer dance schedule) but am bummed I am missing the recital this year! Dance is such an important creative and social part of my life, that even with a new little one I can’t see me giving it up for long :) However, so far all the other women that have gotten pregnant haven’t come back to class, although our teacher has had two kids and was back after 2 months with her last one (and danced through her 8th month!).

  5. Janet says:

    You are soooo right. Do not ask that question.

    I had years of people assuming that I could take care of any baby with any problem (I am a NICU RN) because “you aren’t pregnant.” I finally started asking these co workers how they knew if I was expecting. That eventually stopped the assumptions.

    So tell Smirnoff and Le Assistant that they have crossed the line. And, the high school student might be pregnant. I have seen the children of twelve year olds, and dealt with the fourteen year old whose mother was twenty eight.

    So, if someone volunteers the information, you can ask. If one of your classmates has a large localized bump that kicks, you may think about asking. Otherwise, no.

    • Janet says:

      Let me clarify. The mother of the baby I took care of was 14 years old The grandmother of this baby was all of 28 years old.

    • Oof.
      My theory on asking is: never ask a woman if she’s pregnant unless you can actually see a baby coming out, and even then it’s probably better to just let her volunteer the information.

  6. loveablestef says:

    Way to be smooth and not running crying out the studio! Well done.

  7. lalatina says:

    LOL! I hate that question too. For me it feels really horrible because, even if I have a stable relationship for many years now… I’m only 24!!! Still a student and I don’t even have my own house! How the heck am I supposed to have a baby? I always answer: “I’m too selfish for children” and then people stop asking. It’s rude but it works.

    • Yes! And isn’t that a weird moment, when, like, you reach a certain age where people assume you probably have kids? I remember being, like, 26 or so and my optometrist asking, just to chat, if I had kids and me being like, “Heck no! I’m way way too youn-oh. Wait. Guess I’m not way too young anymore. But no! I don’t! Now fix my glasses and get outta my face!”

  8. Melia Moore says:

    I’ve been asked so many times this question. My husband and I have been married for 5 years and I’ll be 30 this month. I’m the only one of my friends without kids ( and the only one who can
    do a frappe hehehe ) I’ve actually had people say “wow you guys have been married that long and no kids…wow” or my favorite is from a younger friend/mom “well Mel you don’t wanna wait till you too old” nice. People just don’t think before they speak or they assume and we all know what that does to a person. Motherhood is beautiful and I may have the opportunity one day but it is a personal question and there is a line. In the end, mind your own peas and q’s!! (what does that even mean I’ve never thought about it???) or is it P’s and Q’s hmm

    • Lisa says:

      Have to chime in on the p’s and q’s. The story I heard is that it is something bartenders used to tell the clients, and it was originally “Mind your pints and quarts”, but was shortened to p’s and q’s. Not sure what the implications was, like watch your drink so no one slips something in them, or if it was more like watch how much you drink.

  9. I am 30 and we’ve been married five years, so I know ALLLLLLL about this!
    Also, honest to god, I am the only woman in my husband’s family who was not pregnant for this holiday season. When I saw his grandmother the first thing she said to me was “are you pregnant?” Thanks gramma!
    My honey joked today that the first time I heard his 3 year old cousin scream my maternal instinct shriveled up and fell off.

    • a says:

      I will never forget seeing the girls at church who “loved babies” go into total shock when they witnessed a room full of 1 and 2 year olds have “evening meltdown” all at the same time. Instant birth control. Enough to make anyone’s maternal instinct shrivel up.

  10. Kaija24 says:

    I agree, NEVER ask about the personal details of someone’s sex life, which is basically what people are doing here…none o’ yo bizness! It’s silly these days to assume every woman is just chomping at the bit to have kids and it’s insensitive to assume that every woman who wants kids can have them so yeah, best to stay out of that territory!

    There have been several pregnant women in my ballet classes and most of them have stayed in class until close to the end. I remember one woman who could consistently turn pirouettes even as her shape and balance changed literally from week to week…I was in awe! Other active friends of mine have continued yoga, running, aerobics, biking, etc right up until delivery (with doctor’s approval and no complications) and all them have credited staying fit with an easier delivery and recovery as well as more energy and ability to deal with the new demands that a baby brings to everyday life. One of my sister’s friends even an a 10K the day two days before she went into labor! The human body is amazing, for reals…

  11. B says:

    Haha I have 2 little ones, and just last week I was a little off in class and my ballet teacher asked if I was pregnant while we were all standing at the barre! Just because I have 2 already, it doesn’t mean I’m planning on popping out a dozen, ya know?

  12. Pingback: Adult Beginner, where have you been? | Adult Beginner

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