March 19th, 2008


Yesterday, for a little while, I got to touch the beautiful. It was my first ballet class in something like ten years. I weigh probably twenty pounds more than I did back then. I am older and grayer and flabbier. But my feet remember the shape of the shoes, the careful pointing and flexing of the toes, the arch. My neck returns to its curves, my arms to theirs. I found myself smiling throughout class.

I am too tightly-wound a person ever to have been particularly flexible. I take yoga and that’s just enough to make me able to move at all. In the years of disuse, my ballet muscles have tightened, making my diamond-shaped window in my first position demi-plié narrow. Over the next weeks, it will grow and my view will expand.

I came home glazed with sweat and giddy. I knew I had missed ballet in all those years of busy-ness and necessary frugality. Ballet is the Vitamin C to a spiritual scurvy: my teeth are no longer rattling around loose in my head and the boils have disappeared from my body.

The music! I would never listen to ballet music by itself. It’s too lush and romantic, too rich for constant use. But in context, it flows with life, pulls the body along.

One of the best pieces of news all day was that the ballet school’s spring break is only for the children in the after school program: I get to go to class next week!