“Dancing is the loftiest, the most moving, the most beautiful of the arts, because it is no mere translation or abstraction from life; it is life itself.”
– Havelock Ellis
I love to dance. Specifically, I love ballet.
I haven’t taken a class in eight years now, but I’m considering doing so this fall. In high school, the teachers at the school I attended thought I had some real talent, and talked me into taking tap and jazz in addition to ballet so that I could dance in solo competition, but then I got pregnant and had to quit.
I went back eight years later, but I was older, heavier and at first entirely void of any semblance of flexibility. I remember one stretch we did that involved placing a foot on the barre and bending over in different directions. The barres in the studio had two levels and I could barely get my foot onto the low barre. I managed to limp my way through the class and the recital, and by the end of the year, I was doing full splits, heel stretches and could do the warm-up with my foot on the high barre. Not too shabby!
I only danced for that one year, though. Still, to this day, you might find me pirouetting across my living room for no good reason, or practicing positions while waiting in line at a store. I try to keep up with it as much as I can.
Because it’s dance. Because it’s not of this world, but yet, here it is. It’s magic. I feel like I’m floating above the Earth as I move across the floor. I’m always amazed that bodies can move that way. I remember people criticizing Cats because it’s not high-tech like other Broadway shows. But the dancing in it is amazing and mesmerizing. I’m in awe of dancers at that level. It inspires me. It takes me out of my own head for a while. Sometimes we all need that.