so, in case you somehow have managed to not see anything i’ve ever posted about anything ever, i was a ballet dancer with ballet midwest and at barbara’s conservatory of dance for years and years and years. i danced from the time i was about 6 and saw my first nutcracker performance until i graduated high school before “leaving” (lol) and am taking an advanced class now (if you can call holding in tears as you try to raise your leg above the ground even a bit to be taking class), so it’s safe to say that ballet has always been around as a major part of my life.
as it is world ballet day, i began to feel a little nostalgic (if you can even count only being out of the company for about two years as long enough to even feel nostalgic) about my time with the company and how much it and ballet as a whole had such an impact on my life.
through dancing, i made friends that i know i’ll love unconditionally for the rest of my life. when you spend hours upon hours each and every weekend with the same people for years, it’s safe to say that you learn more about them, and them you, than you’d ever hope to know. you understand how stressful performance week is when it coincides with finals week (somehow, always) and can relate to the fact that none of you are sleeping more than four hours a night until that final bow. you grow so close that you consider them to be your family in every possible way. and at some point, you realize that maybe you’re too close to some of these girls and that it’s probably pretty good that a majority of your existence is spent confined to the four walls of the studio.
while dancing, you also learn traits and characteristics that have such a massive impact on your life both in and out of the studio. you learn responsibility, persistence, patience, determination, and leadership amongst other traits that will stay with you well past your days in pointe shoes. i know that i “grew up” at a really young stage (though that didn’t affect my nonstop “jokes” and distractions in class and rehearsals, sorry barbara and lacee and thanks for not kicking me out) and that really shaped me into who i am now as someone who loves to take the lead on projects and plan events and coordinate others and things of that nature and i know many others can say the same things in various forms.
ballet as well became a new home and an outlet. i know i went through a lot of rough patches throughout my time with the company, as did quite literally everyone else, and the studio became a safe haven of sorts. you were with your best friends doing what you loved and getting to step out of your real world life and enter into a new one either as a character in a ballet, or as a character that you create for yourself in each and every class. you get to forget about the garbage that is happening outside and come home to people who love you unconditionally and just forget for a few hours.
i have so much to thank ballet for and the studio for and the people who inhabit it for and i don’t think anything will ever be enough to do so, so this is me shouting my thanks to anyone and everyone who ever had an impact on my ballet career. i get sappy about ballet a lot and it’s a little excessive to be fair, but i just am so freaking thankful for it and everything that came with it. even if now my back and knees and hips and feet will probably be sore for the rest of my life.
so, like, take a ballet class. go to a performance or two. experience the magic that truly is ballet.
(also its ballet midwest’s 40th season this year so there’s a lot of cool stuff happening so you’ve got a lot of opportunities to join us and don’t worry i’ll be posting about everything as it comes because, in case you haven’t noticed, i’m excited and i just freaking love ballet okay)