At the ballet

“Everything was beautiful at the ballet.
Graceful men lift lovely girls in white.
Yes, everything was beautiful at ballet.
Hey!  I was happy… at the ballet.”
~ A Chorus Line

I love the ballet.
I got kicked out of the ballet as a child.
Seeing the ballet as an adult, still gives me a chills.

Okay, so let me explain.

As a child, I took ballet. See above photo for proof of my cuteness.

I just had a teensy weensy problem.

I loved to make up my own dance moves.
I got really excited easily.
All I really wanted to do was do my own thing and talk to Morgan, my best friend. (The girl with the perfect posture next to me in the above photo.)

Apparently, in the ballet, they don’t like you going your own way. Or making noise. Or prancing to a song only you can hear.  Or not having the perfect body type. (I sure was a shrimp!)

So I was switched to voice lessons and musical theater. Swim team. (That shut me up–try talking underwater!!) Activities that were better suited to my gregarious nature. Singing and dancing TOGETHER seemed to fit my wish to move, smile, and, well, speak.

Despite switching to a more theatrical nature, I never lost touch with my dance roots.

But my best friend and I would still attend the Sacramento Ballet together with our Mommies. And I think we saw the San Francisco Ballet once, too.  Watching Giselle was an experience like no other. I didn’t understand anything that was going on, but I was in awe by it all.

This weekend I had the privilege to see New York’s Complexions Contemporary Ballet at the Straz Center in Tampa.

There were a lot of similarities. I went with another best friend.

And I’m not going to lie. Like I did as a child, I still don’t totally know what’s going on.

But, just like in my youth, I loved absolutely every minute of it.

The technical dance was astounding. As a yoga teacher, I was like HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE. Over and over again. I gaped in awe at the use of the physical body.

The artistry, however, is what stood out the most.

Whether dancing to Stevie Wonder or only the sound of breath, the ballet dancers (most of whom are now younger than I am) moved with exquisite grace, with beautiful enthusiasm, and, throughout it all, and underlying current of the effortless joy of those who truly love dance. These young ballet performers were made to move and their passion for art showed through in every step. It was amazing. Breathtaking.

As a runner and a yogi, I learned so much from the performance.

How can I better breathe and be present in each running step, in each yoga posture, and THROUGH each step, posture, breath?  To fluidly connect each movement to the next. To merge mind and body. And, throughout it all, retain an ease, a joy, and a constant connection to the present moment?

I think I need to get back in a dance class pronto. And find the dance of life.

Each time I run, each time I step on the mat, I am going to treat it as if I am starting a new dance. Each moment will flow into the next.  Each breathe will ease to the next. With fluidity. With strength. With never-ending passion.

How can you find the dance in your life?

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