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!
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.