I want to dance again. I say this fully feeling my knees aching from a normal day’s walking and knowing that I haven’t been in class in years. I’m old. I’m not in shape to dance. My right foot seems to cramp when I stand up after sitting for too long. And yet, the urge has suddenly come upon me.
I could blame this urge on watching Every Little Step one too many times and perhaps this documentary I’m watching which follows Russian ballerinas around the globe is also playing a part. But really, I think I miss the connection of it all.
Sometimes I would feel it in class– though rarely because I’m hyper-critical, and it is tough for me to just let things go. But on occasion there would be a moment during performance or class combinations when I would just let myself fly. When the music and my body seem connected, I would be beyond everything else outside of that room (or that stage). Everything else would just melt away, and I would experience one pure moment of “now.”
I used to joke that if I didn’t have to work, I’d be in class every day. Clearly, this has not been the case (the cost of it aside). I sacrificed something I never really wanted to lose, and I can’t really remember why. I have vague recollections of class injuries taking longer and longer to heal the older I got. The studio was a long drive. Everything else in my life seemed more important. I convinced myself that it was time to retire from the hobby that seemed to be taking more and more out of me.
But years later, as I sit hear watching these dancers on the screen, I find myself pointing my toes and wondering. Could my body do it again? Would it just be an exercise in frustration given the knowledge that technique has long since faded? Would I spend the class focusing on my knees and my expansive gut instead of letting go? Or would I fly again, if only for a second?
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