The ClassCategory: General   Jan 18th 2012  02:41PM   0

I was back in ballet class last week and found it absolutely invigorating. I hadn't been a class for nearly a decade. I easily remembered everything I loved about it. I love it's precision,  it's graceful,  delicate beauty, it's striving for elegant ease, it's marriage to exquisite music, it's dedication to a vocabulary that has lasted through the ages, it's quiet synchronized movements, it's wistful, classic romance, it's elegant lines, it's power in subtly. 

 Another great thing is that Ballet has a strict vocabulary of movements. When the teacher showed the class a combination at the barre, my body had no way of not being able to do it. It was the "I could do it in my sleep" reaction, even after nearly 10 years of not doing them. My feet automatically found the movements and it was more a feeling of being possessed by the dance than having to work it out.  There is a sense of homecoming. I thought about all the hours spent in the studio, all the floors softened by years of retracing the same steps again and again, all the sweat and dedication and focus. All the love poured onto these dance floors. I also love that I could go back to the schools I left a decade ago and still do the same combinations I did then. That's something I really love about the arts - the comfort of tradition - of something to return to again and again and find it exactly as you have left it. And, to be able to share with those you have danced with before the same combinations of years before, but now all of them infused with everything that we have now become.

I also found a great freedom that was new.  I know I will never be a professional ballet dancer and I am completely happy with that.  So, every moment in the dance studio is now a pure passion, a pure indulgence to reveal in to the fullest. It has zero fear glued to it - no fear of failure - no fear of success -no fear of not meeting standards and the consequences of that. It feels like coming home again for good to dance.   What pushes the desire to get better now is the pure love for it - it is the love of the art form and all the beauty it gives. Detached from the pressures of "making it" as a dancer, it's actually easier to be a dancer again. Class is just for the pure enjoyment of it, with every effort only an effort gained in the end. I leave at the end of class just full of love that I got to do something I appreciate so much.  I think that is the freedom of nonattachment- of doing something just for the pure love of doing it. With every mistake, every fall, there is the freedom of pure appreciation for getting to do it in the first place. The beautiful thing about ballet class -  and I think all art forms that are steeped in tradition -  is no matter what level you are at everyone brings seriousness to the moment - people dancing in class just for the fun of it are not silly and irreverent - there is a passionate seriousness that is adopted by all even if there are no professional aspirations.  Everyone is pushing themselves hard in class because we love it and want to embody that beauty and precision.  We want to be a part of that magic. No one in class tolerates someone who is fooling around, even if no one in class will ever set foot on a dance stage.  There is respect there, no matter where you take class anywhere in the world. That is what I love most about the arts - that gathering of serious effort anywhere in the world for the absolute love and respect of that art form. It is one of the most sublime of human experiences.


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