A Valentine to Ballet
I remember being 11 and not wanting to miss a single ballet
class. I was obsessed with ballet (not much has changed). I felt as though I couldn’t breathe without ballet. I wanted to impress this art form with my allegiance, my hard work, my heart, and my soul. It was love. My parents were worried that I had entered a cult of some sort: “at 11 who is so insanely committed to such a thing?”. Even to this day, the smell of a ballet studio makes me happy, and the feel of the barre under my hand is like holding the hand of a friend. Plies are like prayers to me, and grand allegro is like flying. From the beginning to the end I am awash with love. Yes, it is still love. It wasn’t always this way. There was a time when I felt that ballet had cheated me, asked too much of me and didn’t deliver enough. I walked away from it, turned my back on it completely and blamed it for all of the unpinning that would follow. It took about five years before I would find it again, and when I did, it was like coming home. This art form had become a part of me, threaded its beauty and pain all through my body and soul; without it, I felt adrift. I now happily accept that the ballet barre is my meditation; the work at center is my jubilation. The cracking of my joints and the tender hum of my aching muscles are the orchestra warming up, preparing for the crescendo of fantastic movement that will come. And in that exuberant moment, my heart will soar. I know that in dance I am closer to God, and who doesn’t want to be there! I will never leave ballet again; I don’t want to, I don’t have to. I will find it in the places I know it exists, and I will create it in the places it doesn’t. It is my love offering to the world, and the source is endless.
I am so grateful to have this love.