If I were to list everything that I learned from ballet so far, I could spend days and days and write for pages and pages and I’ve only been dancing for two years!
Perhaps I am different, even from other adult beginner dancers, because this dream to dance is new. Not only did I not take dance as a child, I never really wanted to. Even if I had the opportunity, which I didn’t, I probably would have still opted for music lessons and hours left alone at the library. I wasn’t a mover as a child. In some ways, it still isn’t natural. Interestingly enough as an adult, I can’t get enough dance in my life and I love to be in class – mostly ballet but with some modern or contemporary thrown in for good measure. Dance called to me as an adult and it has made a claim on my body and soul as a person already grown, formed and developed.
We tend to think – or perhaps we are taught – that we find ourselves in a journey through childhood and who we are as adults are formed only by the knowledge and experience of that journey. Once we are “grown-ups” we are all we are ever going to be in our personality and our preferences. But that isn’t so. Ballet has taught me that there are parts of me that even as I reach the half-way point of a lifespan I have yet to discover all that there is. Ballet has taught me that there is always a possibility of new dreams that can change me – body, soul, and mind – and the possibilities are endless.
Ballet taught me that I am ever evolving. Ballet has begun to remold my body and give me a strength and pliability that I would never imaged could be possible from my body. True, I have personal limitations, everyone does. But my own mind placed many more limitations because of my own preconceived notions about myself than ballet was willing to excuse. Daily class showed me that what I thought I was limited to and what I was becoming were two different things. Ballet introduced me to a more social part of myself that never existed before. Ballet found a desire to share a love and passion in me that allowed me to feel safe to reach out to and interact with others. Ballet discovered an artist in me that I had buried under graphs, charts, numbers, and analysis. Ballet gave me freedom to be creative as well as rigorous.
Ballet taught me that today is a great day to start a new dream, a new goal, a new journey – it is never too early or too late to try, to do, to be, to dance!
About the Author
Like lots of other grown-ups, Lorry Perez has a career, a spouse, a dog, a cat, and a house. For all this normality, Lorry spends her time in pursuit of the extracurricular activity of ballet. That is, the incredible task of trying to learn ballet as an adult, which is no small feat and has been both disastrous and monumental. For her, ballet has moved beyond a love as a spectator event and has become a pursuit as a participant somewhere in the vicinity of obsession and addiction. She documents her development as an adult ballet student on her blog, Bead109. You can also find her on Twitter as @Bead_109.