It has been nearly eleven years since I quit ballet, so long ago that most people who meet me cannot imagine me as a bunhead, for the only blatant hint of my dance-related history is how I still walk with my toes turned outwards. Who looks at feet when you first greet a person? You would think that by this point, the form would be out of my system entirely. We worked at the barre yesterday in dance class, and though it is the first time I have touched the narrow metal support since I stopped training regularly, the activity revealed that ballet is still deeply ingrained in my movement. I wonder if I have repressed memories of routines from the days of yore?
Though we're only three weeks into the session, I think this class has been beneficial in a great number of ways. It's much more physically and mentally demanding than the regular modern class, which was exactly what I was hoping for. It's intense and requires a fantastic amount of energy. Though it's really difficult for me to pull off some of the shoulder gyrations and whatnot, what makes me really happy about attending is that the class ignores the studio's attitude. In general, the studio tries far too hard to distinguish itself from New City Ballet by being "edgy" with its modern program. This approach to dance puts me off, for it seems like a thinly disguised attempt to reach out to the "funky cultural group" that shops at Whole Foods and pretends to be eco-conscious while driving SUVs, and the material hiding behind the veil of "emotional exposure" is merely weak and disjointed. When you have to think about pushing the envelope, the results are inevitably awkward without being thought-provoking. The class I am taking now, however, has a laid back "just enjoy the movement and the culture speaking through it" perspective to the sessions that I really appreciate. Stop trying so hard, just do.
It's also been a great help in the enormous task of coming to terms with every part of the body I spent years disassociating myself from. The quest does not have to be as difficult as I often make it ... but for better or worse, I have to think things through for myself, and this process can take years. Twisted logic I put into place and built upon in high school must be examined and reworked.
Take, for example, my maligned lower limbs. I remember quite clearly the day in show choir that sealed their fate. I was working on one of the dance routines, and one of the fellows who was sitting that round out said to me, with a tone somewhere between disgust and awe, "Damn, Anne, you've got legs like a man." I was horrified to hear this, and spent many subsequent years being embarrassed during the summer.
It made sense then, but nowadays I am thinking that was quite stupid on both our parts! I acknowledge that the diameter of my legs is larger than what is commonly considered attractive. But so what? They're not "fat" because of weight gain or because I don't work out. A majority of the material contained within the skin is muscle that I am genetically stuck with for the rest of my life. Most people do not observe the visible knots around my knees unless I point them out, and since I do not, I have little reason to be embarrassed by their presence! My upper body strength is laughable, this is true, but my legs can kick ass. So there, old high school demons!
I used to hope that I would grow to be tall and elegant, with long, slender fingers. My father is/was six foot four, and all of the female relatives on his side of the family were five foot seven and up, so I had a chance, right? As it turned out, I achieved my maximum height of five foot four around my sophomore year of high school (those years again!), so it quickly became apparent that would never, ever happen. Past thought: I'm stubby, what a bummer. Current mode of thinking: whatever! My stature is average, so I am able to reach most things for myself and yet do not have to fear knocking my head on anything. My hands are small enough to make it almost difficult to span a full octave on the piano, but I managed. They have done everything I have asked of them, so why waste my time berating them for having short fingers and funny-looking joints, qualities which do not impact their usefulness in the least bit?
MawMaw is being moved into a Rehab unit for a couple of weeks at the least, mostly because she cannot take care of herself at present. I think she wants to live, but I am not sure if she wants to heal, and therein lies the problem. The injuries she suffered in her fall were not serious, and her blood pressure is being controlled by medication. She could, if some mental block were not present and causing problems, go home. No one can break past that barrier for her.
Shoes involving transparent plastic are not classy. Period. Not even if you put rhinestones on them. You may think it appears as though you are wearing no footwear at all, but alas, that is not the case. They hint of trash, of cheapness, and they look like they make your feet sweat. The more inches you gain via Lucite heels and platforms, the worse the effect becomes. I am far from a fashion guru, but there are some things even I feel instinctively, and that's a big one.
Lenaburg, Middle of Nowhere NOOOOOO!!! Daisy, the cutest, sweetest villager ever, moved out. It's all my fault, as I got distracted by the Acorn Festival, and forgot my habit of checking up on everyone ... so she packed her bags and left! On the upside, she lived in the popular part of town, so now that her house is gone, the congestion in the area is slightly lessened. But on the huge downside, she was adorable! Ziti is going to go weep now. It was supposed to be Gaston who moved, Gaston, not the lovable Daisy! Gaston's birthday is this month, so I think I'll find a way to set fire to his house before that time comes. The odds are against me, as I have consistently failed to set Nook and Redd's tent alight, but I shall not give up hope in the quest to evict that Cranky bunny from the Lenaburg village limits. [Edit: I just taught him to say "I'm a doofus." Is that cruel?]