Thursday, December 24, 2009


Yesterday I joined some friends to watch a ballet performance of The Nutcracker Suite. My friend was dancing in the ballet and so a group of us decided to attend and get into the Christmas spirit. I don't think I've ever been to a ballet performance before and I had a really good time watching the graceful dancers and the lovely costumes, settings and backdrops.

AND remembering back to my grade school days.

Around the time I started kindergarten my mother realized I was obviously pigeon toed and knock kneed and so on the advice of a orthopedist, she enrolled me in ballet lessons. At age 5 I had a good time twirling around. As I got older I must have revealed my innate clumsiness because I stayed in the background, spent a lot of time falling on the floor and having toes, knees and elbows pushed and pulled into various positions. I THINK that I was still enthusiastic about ballet though and at around 4th or 5th grade even started with toe shoes.

One year at school there was a talent show and I confidently took a record of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Suite" and my toe shoes and a frilly costume and went onstage.

Last night as I was listening to Tchaikovsky's ballet I was thinking,

"Ah yes. It was right about HERE that I did a graceful arabesque... and fell part way off the elementary school stage."

That one traumatic misstep colored my life evermore for performing before people in any way, shape or form. And it was not long after the talent show that I discarded my toe shoes forever.

The dancers last night were so precise, so graceful, so ethereal and fragile looking. And in the audience there were other little girls watching the prima ballerina with shining eyes and dreams of becoming as beautiful as she.

All I can say is 'Watch out for elementary school stages'.

I am still knock-kneed.

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