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I wrote about my return to ballet class a little bit in my last post, but I decided to write some more about it.

When I was little, I was absolutely obsessed with ballet.  I watched ballet VHS tapes over and over until my parents finally enrolled me in a class when I was 3 years old.  They were probably sick of watching the same videos with me!  Since then, I kept taking ballet lessons, with some modern and jazz thrown in the mix, too.  I wanted to be a professional ballerina, and when I realized that wasn’t going to happen, it didn’t faze me.  I kept going to class just because I loved it.  I complained about it sometimes, of course, but I never regretted going to ballet.  I especially loved dancing en pointe – it made me feel so tall and glamorous.  I even went to a ballet summer camp in high school.  I was obsessed!

This picture is hung in so many dance studios – it brings back memories!

When I started having seizures my sophomore year of high school, ballet (and dance in general) fell by the wayside.  My episodes are triggered by exercise, and I wasn’t healthy enough to take class.  So I quit dancing.  It was the best decision for me, and I don’t regret it.  I put my dance shoes and leotards in a plastic tub and put it in my closet.  Out of sight, out of mind.  This turned ballet class into this unattainable goal that I secretly had.  I wanted to dance again.  It’s part of who I am.

So I finally got back in the studio.  A spot opened up in a ballet class at my college (which never happens!) and I felt it was fate so I enrolled.  I was nervous… no, I was terrified.  But four years after getting sick, I went back to ballet class.  I just finished my second class this morning, and I’m already looking forward to next week so I can go again.

I’m sore, I’m definitely not as good as I used to be, but I’m stronger than I expected to be.  The technique and terminology came back surprisingly quickly, and during my first class I remembered why I love ballet so much.  The teacher even complimented my attitude (the ballet position, not the sassy attitude) during an exercise.  WHAT?!  This made my week!  Ballet is almost a spiritual experience for me: I feel so focused, yet free and just good.   Most importantly, I feel healthy.  This return to ballet is my next step to getting better.  Or at least, showing that my illness can’t stop me from doing what I love.  

I’m so happy to be back.