I started dancing from a young age, taking ballet classes as a little girl. I took classes with a French teacher for about three years before moving out of state due to my parents’ divorce. At that point, I stopped taking classes and didn’t return to the dance world formally until 2012.
My family would always take me to productions of the Nutcracker every Christmas season. Perhaps this was what inspired me to start dance in the first place–the cliché dream every little girl has of one day becoming a ballerina. I still don’t exactly remember what propelled it. It could have been my Aunt Linda taking me to the ballet as soon as I could walk. It could have been watching the Nutcracker on PBS. It could have been seeing the dancers coming to life as Clara and the Prince on stage. It could have been seeing my dad volunteering to be the “ogre” for my local studio’s performances even though he had no ballet experience whatsoever. Or it could have been after I started classes, watching the company dancers rehearse at my studio for their production of Sleeping Beauty and thinking that could one day be me. Whatever it was–cliché or not, the dream stuck.
I started attending my local ballet company’s productions regularly again in early 2012. We saw Swan Lake that April. I was absolutely overwhelmed by that performance and had the pleasure of watching Odette and Siegfried get promoted to principals that night. It was truly magical. Seeing that ballet reminded me of everything I loved about dance–self-expression, artistic and aesthetic beauty, the romance in storytelling through movement, and achieving something that feels bigger than yourself. That’s when I knew I could no longer just be a spectator and had to come back to ballet.
At the recommendation of a friend who had danced pre-professionally, I started taking a summer adult ballet class at a local studio in 2012. Long story short, I haven’t looked back since. (But if you’re reading this far, you just might be interested in the long story?) I have been dancing at the same studio ever since, with only a six-month break for the time that I studied abroad in Japan.
I usually take 2-3 classes per week, 2 of those being my regular adult ballet classes and the other being a pointe class. I made the decision to start pursuing pointework in January 2017, and this beautiful facet of ballet has motivated me even more to improve my technique and artistry as a dancer.
With my amazing teachers and friends I’ve made through my ballet classes, dance has renewed in me what I experienced at that performance of Swan Lake back in April 2012. And more. Ballet is by no means easy, and it has been a completely different experience coming back to the art form as an adult. But I’m in on this journey for the long-haul. There is so much I have yet to learn, and I can’t wait to keep progressing. Most of all, I can’t wait to keep dancing for as long as I possibly can. I hope you’ll join me in my dancing adventure.