It’s not you AB, it’s the non-disclosure.

Was walking with my sister the other day, pushing the boy in the jogging stroller,
—And feeling pleased that at least this time we hadn’t seen Other Jogging Mom, the one who I only ever see when she’s jogging her stroller but I’m just walking mine. Never mind that I might have just finished a super long run, Other Jogging Mom and I only cross paths when she’s jogging and I’m lazy. In fact, the other day it was like 100 degrees out and I was in my car and I saw her out jogging that jog stroller and I totally wanted to roll down my window and yell, “I’m driving to the gym!! To work out!! I’m not lazy!! Your Face!!!”
Actually Other Jogging Mom is really nice. We chat at crosswalks. I like her. But man, gets me so competitive!
Anyway not the point. Point is, the other day, strolling the jog stroller back from coffee, we walked past some kind of film shoot and I was like, “Ooh! I wonder what they’re filming?” and my sister was like, “I love how you always just bust up in there and ask,” and I was like ,”yeah and I love how they always tell me. You know they like never tell [Mr. Adult Beginner]? They totally say something lame like ‘it’s a Tv Show’ and he’s like ‘No duh, Power-Mad Clipboard-Wielding Nineteen-Year-Old, it’s obviously a tv show, but fine, don’t tell me, jeez.’ ”
I think they just tell me because I’m all adorable pushing a stroller. Plus maybe it’s because I never ask the nineteen year old with the clipboard.
Didn’t find out what they were filming this time though because the shoot was on the other side of the street.
But reminded me of the other day after another not-awesome pointe class, I was sitting in the lobby all sad times, taking off my sad pointes, trying to decide if I need better shoes or a better attitude or what, and there was some kind of big audition going on in one of the other rooms, maybe something hip hop, and two of the auditioners were sitting on the other couch all slumped over not talking and staring at their phones, like they were maybe sad times too, and after a little while I asked, “What’s the audition for?”
And they both kinda looked over at me side-eye and said, “An artist.”
I kinda just said, “oh.” and then got my shoes on and walked out all Extra Sad Times thinking, “Oh Come On! An Artist? Really?!!! That hurts my feelings! I’m cool! I think? Ok Fine! Don’t tell me JEEZ. It’s obviously either a commercial or a tour anyway! I know stuff! Jeez!”
Didn’t occur to me until later that they’d probably both signed a million non-disclosure agreements, they probably really couldn’t tell me, like, legally. Like I was probably kind of putting them on the spot by even asking.
All I could think in that moment was that they looked over, saw that I was not cool, not a real dancer, plus too old and fat and what was I doing with those pointe shoes and what was my hair’s problem and nobody wears new balance anyway like ‘nice mom-shoes, lady,’ and just decided to shut me down.
Why am I so drama? I think pointe class makes me a little bit sad and insane.
Gentle Reader, I’ve quit pointe.
Gonna write Adult Beginner LOLZ in fancy script across the toes of my pointes and try again sometime in the future with new shoes and a different teacher.

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
This entry was posted in Ballerina Class, and other pointe-y stuff, Bark! Bark! Bark! and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to It’s not you AB, it’s the non-disclosure.

  1. Jessica says:

    This makes me sad. And also? I understand. (See, for example, comment on earlier post about car crying every week for five months. And also also, I quit a choir one time after I got a new job and realized that the car crying [jeez a theme] that had commenced after every rehearsal after the new job started was bc I was overextended. Anyway.) It is a big deal to realize that something is only making you sad and upset. I’m sorry that’s the way it is, and I’m really glad you’re making it stop. Next time you try, if you want to do a next time, can be better.
    Aaand . . . I totally hate when a car goes by right when I’m slowing from a run to a walk for my cool down. I want to yell that I just ran for a long time and this is totally my cool down, man! I was running for way more than just the two houses from the corner!

    • Jessica says:

      Man, my comment sounds so patronizing—like you need my approval, pshaw! Sorry! Anyhoo, was just trying to say I’ve been there with the “wait a second, I am a crazy sad person and it’s because of this thing and you know what? I can change this thing.” Wishing you all the best!

      • Haha thanks! No I totally get it, thanks. And funny about wanting to yell at cars. I wonder if that’s part why people go to gyms: everyone there can see that you were just working out.

  2. Raquel says:

    I’m sorry! I can appreciate how shitty that would feel, except I’ve never tried anything as ambitious as a pointe class. I’m in a regular adult ballet class and feel like a clumsy, fat, old goof at times. I am impressed by what you’ve accomplished in your classes; you are an inspiration. I had stopped taking adult ballet classes for a little over a year because I felt out of place and then I started up again after reading your posts and wanting to be a part of something I loved…not because I was skilled at it, but because I needed to dance.

    • Gosh, I’m totally honored to have played a little part in helping you get back.
      It was kind of funny about the auditioners who wouldn’t tell me what they were auditioning for. I mean, wow, the things we do to ourselves inside our own heads, they, I’m sure, barely even saw me, let alone thought all the mean thoughts about me I came up with in my own head.

  3. I, too, am sorry to hear that.
    As you said, maybe try again with a different class or a different teacher. Sometimes that makes all the difference in the world.
    And I just wanted to say that I totally agree with the commenter above, about you being an inspiration. After my first disastrous try at ballet, I did a lot of ballet-ing in private, too intimidated to go back to class. But after reading your blog, I was like, to hell with it, I’m going back (with a different teacher)!

    • Olivia says:

      Me too! I danced when younger and loved it but stopped to pursue other sports. After finding your blog (AB), I thought- adult beginner? Its a thing? I can be one! So I have…I am 5 classes into my first semester and I love it. The classmates are fun and I enjoy myself- even though I can see A LOT more of me in the mirrors than I’d like ;) It is so hard and so exhausting, but in a good way… hang in there, you have a great attitude and outlook.

  4. Old Faun says:

    I’m sorry to hear that.
    I have always the one funny fealing:
    At work or at the gymn everyone thinks I’m super flexible.
    But in ballet class at stretching, when right and left of me a woman of thwentysomething does her split, or bends her body into impossible positions I feel I’m made of wood. So I’ve decided to ignore it.

  5. guyenne says:

    Good luck with your time off, and hope you find someone awesome when you are ready to try pointe again.

  6. QMichelle says:

    You know, it’s so hard making a decision like that, but when a class is making you angry and sad rather than happy, then it’s definitely the right thing to re-evaluate whether it’s right for you. Ballet and dance should make you happy, even when you are making mistakes or falling over. I’m awful at pirouettes, truly bloody terrible, and every week I try and every week I fail miserably but after every class I’m already looking forward to the next class because maybe *this* time I’ll get it right.
    I have absolutely NO doubt it’s not you or your ability, but rather the fit with the teacher and class simply isn’t right. I think with the right teacher you’d feel so much better about it.

    • You are a big inspiration for me, Queen Michelle. When I think about when will I be able to work back up to pointe: maybe it’ll be next year, or maybe in two years or maybe more, and then I think about what age I’ll be and whether that’s going to be a problem, and then I worry, and then I think to myself, “Stop! Don’t panic. Queen Michelle started as an adult, and is totally doing pointe and look how pretty, and she is just a tiny bit older than you are and it’s not stopping her so just simmer on down, AB.” So thanks. You keep at it, I’ll be back en pointe eventually.

      • QMichelle says:

        Age shmage. At 41 I most definitely can’t see me giving up any time soon. As for yourself, you’ll be back to pointe waaaaay sooner than you think. I really not you, it’s the class and the teacher that isn’t right for you. The wrong teacher and class can make you feel just awful about yourself. But trust me, with the right class and teacher you’ll be absolutely fine. I promise.

  7. gwenyth says:

    Good for you! And thanks for sharing it!

    • Thanks gwenyth, I feel almost like someone gave me a piece of cake, and half of me was like, “I’m not sure if I even like this cake,” and the other half of me was like, “It’s cake, dummy! What’s your problem! Eat it!”

  8. Rebecca says:

    Just wanted to send you some love in your sad times, AB.
    If you need cheering I would definitely consider buying some ultra-comfy new slippers just to enjoy having happy feet – there are some luscious stretch canvas split-soles out there.
    Well done for making the call though and not carrying on when you were miserable.

  9. tiny hippo says:

    Awww. I think most of us adult beginners can relate to feeling old, fat, and uncool. I’m in a class right now where everyone is lithe and balletic and youthful. If its any consolation, I find the fact that you are able to get on pointe at all to be very impressive (after 6 years of classes I still don’t think I’m up to it). But, I bet the issue is that you are not taking enough classes per week to be strong enough. It is generally recommended to take 3 classes per week in addition to pointe class. Also, you might want to consider taking private classes. It seems expensive but 1 private is worth several group classes, in my experience. OH, and if you want a confidence boost, go take a beginner beginner class. You’ll see how much you’ve learned, and its good to bone up on the basics.

    • Yeah the fact that I’m only taking one regular ballet class per week right now is definitely not ideal for pointe, but when the pointe class opened up, I mean, how could I say no? It’s pointe! And they wanted me!
      But yeah, now I’m saying no.
      True about taking beginner beginner classes. I’ve been really enjoying trying different beginner and open level classes for the reviews I’ve been doing with Rhonda Jamb (you can see the reviews in the page above called “adult ballet classes in LA”) I actually love basic classes. They can be as challenging as you allow them to be, just depends on how hard you work.

  10. amandakash says:

    Awww that’s cool. You’re not really quitting, you’re just taking a break. She can be a real bia, or so I’ve heard.

  11. kahn says:

    Hey AB,
    I totally sympathize. I just went back to adult beginner classes after about a year and a half off. During that time off, I thought I was being lazy and unmotivated, but when I got to my new class and realized how much I loved it, it hit me: I’d just outgrown my previous class. Well, that and my previous teacher was really great at some things (emphasizing form and taking a whole-body approach to teaching), but not so good at others (the class got a little repetitive and boring and it was hard to see that I was making any progress).

    I bet by the time you find a really good pointe class, it’ll be the right one for you.

    I have a question for you: do you find that you have to take more care/are fussier about pedicures and spa-type foot-based treatments now that you do ballet?

    • Ha! No.
      I mean, if I actually do make it to a nail salon to get a pedicure it’ll just be a big FU to pointe shoes, not as part of any grande foot-maintenance scheme.
      The big thing that ballet has made me take more care about is wearing good shoes when I’m just doing regular everyday stuff. Like, shoes better keep my feet happy or they are outta here like Bam. I can’t be wearing out my feet on trips to the park and grocery store when there’s ballet class later.

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