I took my first ballet class at age 6 because my friends were taking class. I came home and told my mother I was going to be a ballerina. From that day I practiced a barre every single day by looking at pictures in a beginner ballet book and mimicking what they were doing. I advanced very quickly and at age 10, I was the youngest dancer at my studio to be approved to go on pointe.
At 14 I went to Jacob's Pillow and at 15 I studied with Melissa Hayden and the NYCB in Saratoga Springs. At 18 I moved to NYC and started dancing with the Harkness Ballet. Shortly after arriving in NYC I tripped over a crack in the sidewalk and injured my right foot. After several weeks, I could no longer put any weight on that foot so I went to a doctor in East Harlem who was doing a study on dancers feet and their problems. The doctor called me an idiot and told me that if I did not stay off of that foot for 3 months, there was a chance that I would never walk again. I had wishboned my 5th metatarsal to a quarter inch from the ankle. I knew that I would not dance again. My soul died that day.
30 years later I decided to take an adult ballet class and was amazed at what I could do. Not well but do it none the less. My second class turned out to be a private class and the teacher told me to just follow her. She ran me through a battery of exercises and combinations and an hour later asked me what gives. She wanted to know what my background was since I had not said anything except that I had danced when I was younger. Her greatest compliment to me was that she could see that I had quality training. That was a year ago.
I find that I enjoy dancing so much more now than I did when I was younger because this time I am doing it for me. I no longer have to prove anything to anyone and if I can't do an exercise as well as the 20 year old in my class, so be it. I don't have to be the best. I just have to enjoy what I am doing with my life and believe me, I have never been happier.
Founded in 1996, Dance.Net is the leading online dance community. We have over 200,000 members from the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and all over the world. We get over 200,000 unique visitors every month to our web and mobile sites. Learn more.
Reach dancers, teachers, choreographers, studio owners, dance moms, and everyone passionate in dance through Dance.net! Advertise now.