I took ballet classes from age six to twelve-ish. I loved it. I breathed it. I read ballet books on the weekends and undoubtedly bored my poor mother to tears with the amount I harped on about it.
For as long as I could remember, I wanted to be a ballerina. But I think at some point I settled my hopes on being a dance teacher. Either way, I wanted to dance.
I was about 12, in my pre-pubescent awkward stage… my dance teacher told me I was getting too ‘meaty’ for ballet. Do you remember being age 12? Everything was awkward, or life-changing. To me, quitting dancing was a pretty big deal.
So I finished up that year. I wanted to try another dance school nearby, problem was, we weren't made of money… some of these dance schools required very fancy uniforms, had fees for performances, exams, etc. So I gave up.
In lieu of ballet, I decided to test out a few alternative sports: gymnastics, tae kwon do, netball and softball. Apart from tae kwon do (which was born from my love of Buffy), I royally sucked at them all. Sigh.
So I had no solid sporting hobbies from the late nineties, until now.
I was doing pole gymnastics (not dancing) for a few months with a friend. And let me tell you, I am not built for that shit. I have never been particularly gymnastic or strong. I can dance though… but these pole classes didn’t involve any dance, just strength based acrobatics. If they did involve dance, I probably would have excelled, as ass-shaking and body rolls come quite naturally.
After a few months of pole and feeling a little defeated after each class, I decided I needed something else. My friend K and I have always loved ballet (we both did all forms of dance at rival dance schools). So one day, I just said, “Hey K, wanna do some ballet classes?”. This was met with an ecstatic “YES”, much to my delight.
Me in a couple of months. MWAHAHA yeah right!
The next week, we donned tights and a t-shirt for an adult beginner ballet class at a casual dance school. And it was awesome. I couldn’t remember any of the vocab except plie and pirouette, but the movements came naturally. I remembered to turn out, suck all my wobbly bits in, keep my shoulders down and overall, be god damn graceful. I’m also not the hugest fan of classical music, so was stoked when we were doing releves to Neyo and rond de jambes to jazz numbers.
By the next lesson, K and I had our new Bloch ballet slippers snug on our feet. We were beginning to get obsessed. Six months later we're still only going once per week, but we're working on our strength to one day take pointe classes.
Next hurdle: pointe classes.
Moral to the story... you're never too old! No, I won't be a ballerina or ballet teacher, but I get to do this for the fun of it. And honestly, it's more fun now than what it was at age 12.
If you've got a sport or hobby you've always wanted to try, but kept putting off, just suck it up and do it! If a 100 year old can skydive and swim with sharks, you can do whatever the heck you want!
A 100-year old skydiver puts us all to shame
We had the same sort of attitude to packing up our life and studying overseas, then subsequently starting a business from scratch.
Take advantage of the amazing (and sometimes free) resources out there to learn a new skill, e.g. Youtube, Craftsy, Skillshare, Lynda, etc. If some of these resources were around in the nineties, you never know, I might have stuck with ballet, or gotten that tae kwon do black belt. But for now, I'm pretty damn happy awkwardly glissade-ing across the studio floor!
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