Seriously though, her leg was like this: í

Had a visitor in class the other day. A girl, maybe like seven years old? Or twelve? Who can tell.
Anyway, she did the barre with us and her mom sat in front by the boombox and watched and then they said thank you and left after barre,
They were visiting from out of town, so , like, not going to become regulars or anything,
And this girl had amazing feet.
Like, legit ballerina feet.
I was going to say beautiful feet but they’re not actually beautiful, that kind of feet. They are a little bizarre to see in real life, but you know they can do beautiful things, so, I was going to say beautiful but now that I think about it I’m not.
Feet like what some people call Banana Feet and I call The Arches Of Insanity and Smirnoff calls Well Developed Insteps.
As in during the barre, he called out to Lé Assistant a couple times in a kind of secret-telling voice like he was speaking in parenthesis, he called out, (Look! Look at what a nicely developed instep!)
And Lé Assistant replied back in a normal voice because it’s not like we weren’t all listening, “Yes! Very nice.”
During developés I looked down the barre and saw all of us with our legs out to the side at ninety degrees, maybe a little higher, some (maybe mine) maybe a little lower, leg leg leg, and the there was her leg, straight up, with the foot winged out, looking like an accent on a lowercase í.
It was really a neat feeling to be in class with someone who really might go there, might actually become a ballerina.
I mean who knows, I know there’s more to it than feet, that’s just one requirement even the Adult Beginner can recognize.
It was a neat exciting feeling, but I also felt a weird kind of protective sadness toward her.
Like, “Oh girl, you’ve got the goods, now you are in for many years of proving it.”
It was a weird feeling and it immediately made me annoyed with myself, like, Dang Adult Beginner, way to see the negative in a positive situation, but I couldn’t chase the feeling away.


About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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17 Responses to Seriously though, her leg was like this: í

  1. BB -- Bush Ballerina says:

    I think I would’ve been totally distracted by my need to gawk at her! lol. Must’ve been a nice thing to see.

  2. RO says:

    We had a woman of over 50 years old who came to join our class, and she also had these GORGEOUS feet, real banana feet. We (my other classmates and yours truly) couldn’t stop watching! She also had an amazing turnout. The world is unfair.

  3. If not because I obviously deserve it, that’s one reason I should get filthy rich – I would start the first ballet company in the world where dancers wouldn’t have to suffer or play unfair to each other, simply because I’d have so many performances that everyone would have a chance.
    Because when I see children in ballet who were already born with the basic stuff, I feel the same, AB… I always think “oh yes, my dear, go on and dance away – but don’t go pro with this, do it because it’s beautiful and fun, and you’ll do it way better than me simply because you have it all.”
    But then I’m torn because I still want to see ballet performances in the years to come, and there’s got to be professionals for that!

  4. guyenne says:

    It’s also really odd the first time you realize that you’ve gotten to the point that you can actually guess who could continue and who likely can’t based on a random class like this. It reminds me of one of the bad auditions on SYTYCD – where the judges obviously seemed mean to the random viewer, but if you had any idea at all, you were kinda nodding your head and wondering how the person auditioning thought the show was a real possibility.

    • Yes!
      Those audition shows are fascinating.
      It was watching American Idol, the very first season way back in 2002, that finally made me realize that you must be trained to excel. Had this romantic notion that all you need is heart, but you watch one audition episode of any dance/singing/whatever show and it’s clear that nope, you need training.

  5. Janet says:

    Oh Yeah. Reminds me of seeing the really skinny young ladies when I was taking Ballroom Dance. They got all the attention at the practice sessions from the male students. I the older and less stunning person almost never had a chance to practice and prove that I could actually dance. It would not have mattered how many lessons I took, or how hard I practiced my steps or technique. Because I did not have the look, I would only have the teaching staff as a partner. Ballroom is ridiculously expensive, so I did give up.
    For young ballerinas, I think that the same rules apply. If they do not have “the look,” they have only recreational dance in the future. I wonder if they are even allowed in the advanced classes.
    It is a shame that there is not a place for regular people who have the passion and skill, but not “the look.”

  6. Terez Mertes says:

    Aww, what a great story. Especially this:
    “It was a neat exciting feeling, but I also felt a weird kind of protective sadness toward her.
    Like, “Oh girl, you’ve got the goods, now you are in for many years of proving it.”

    Yes, weird protective sadness toward these sweet little could-really-go-somewhere girls. That sums it up exactly. And, as well, I feel a sense of RELIEF, for myself, for not being 14/16 again and just burning with the need to Go Somewhere with it. That’s a tough place. Especially as I never had banana feet and í extensions. (What a great visual image!)

    Gotta say, it’s great to slap the “recreational” onto the “ballet dancer” as an adult. Reminds me that it’s mostly about having fun.

  7. nicola lynde says:

    Theres a young Finnish girl that dances in my adult class every week. Her family has moved countries and she hasn’t properly found a studio in her new home. She is unbelievably talented, with perfect feet, turnout and an incredible focus. I go between watching her in awe while trying to learn, and resenting her existence because it makes me feel every bit a clumsy adult. Luckily it’s mostly the former I feel, but still hard not to be jealous of her amazing potential.

    On a side note, I found your blog via a longwinded ballet web crawl (I believe starting with something about lambswool) but either way so glad to have ended up here. I haven’t found many ballet blogs that have the content I’m after, but I really enjoy yours! Thanks!

  8. I’m having a hard time dealing with my jealousy towards the future ballerinas I dance with. Occasionally, they will take the open adult class to make up for missing one of their classes and it sometimes ruins class for me. I ruminate about not being able to turn back time. I envy their youth and opportunities. It is so unhealthy, I wish I could get over it.

    • What worked for me for getting through feeling bitter about having missed the Possibility Window of ballet, was just taking many many more classes. Maybe that will work for you? And in the meantime, yay! Many many more classes!

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