Barring the Barre

A friend asked me to join her for a barre class.  It would be great fun, she said.  I would only have to do what I felt was within in limits, she said.  It’s mostly stretching, she said.  She lied.

When I was in ballet I hated working with the barre.  Hated it with all my little girl heart.  You see the barre was were the disciplined hard work, but boring work took place. I wanted to leap and bound across the floor.  The barre doesn’t let you leap and bound across the floor.  The barre is an anchor of sorts.

An anchor that is ideal for learning the foot positions and the dreaded plies.  And stretches that frankly made me wonder if I was supposed to be made of rubber.  Granted the barre is always where I learned to go en pointe.  And of course who wants to learn at the barre when it should be natural to stand on the tips of your toes and it really isn’t.  Natural that is.

So I knew all of this, I mean I had already tried a relationship with the barre before.  It wasn’t a good relationship.  But how could it be with me hating it and all it really wanted to do was support me?  So I decided to be a bit of an adult (I do this now and then) and go into the barre class with an open mind.

For the record I have closed my mind to the barre again.   Know, it isn’t the barre’s fault and it was still here for me.  But barre class is like the worst of ballet married to the barre and lots of squats and working with weights.  Not exactly fun.  And to top it off the instructor was someone who had taken her dance very seriously and couldn’t grasp why I wasn’t more flexible or had the unrestrained attack of the giggles more than once.  For the record the giggles were the thought that if we just dislocated our hips we’d get more stretch.  And frankly at this age, dislocating hips and factoring hips is something I’d rather not think about for soon enough it will be a serious threat.  I wonder if they offer barre exercises for those who remain seated?


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