When I was a little girl I was enrolled in ballet. I have no clue what the real motivation was for my parents to think I belonged in ballet. Maybe they thought it would be a way to teach me discipline. Perhaps it was because at some point I liked to dance around or twirl on my toes. I honestly do not know, it wasn’t something that we ever discussed.
I was simply enrolled in classes, provided with shoes and less than frilly outfits. I learned how to stand and bend. I learned positions and the barre. I learned that my ballet teacher had once danced in a ballet troupe, but not a huge one so she had to settle for teaching to stay with her passion of ballet.
She told us that it was not a case of broken dreams or not being good enough, rather it was a story of success. A way of holding onto her dream, keeping her passion alive and sharing it with others. To her dance, and where she ended up, was a dream come true.
At that age, I had no clue what she was talking about. When I was a teenager, she was once again my ballet teacher and she shared her story again. I remember thinking that she wasn’t fooling anyone with saying she had a successful life. She hadn’t become a ballerina with a major company. She taught ballet to some girls who were gifted or talented, but primarily to girls who lacked any real skill or talent.
Looking back now, her true success was finding a way to keep her dream alive, make a living doing what she loved and being free and comfortable with her life. She didn’t care if she wasn’t the star. She cared that she had made her self the best she could be and knew talent when she saw it.
She recently got in touch with me via one of my friends who happened to be talented. My friend put in the work and effort required to master those positions and dance. I struggled with discipline. You see I wanted to leap and twirl and do what I wanted to do and no that did not include practice. Apparently I had left an impression upon her and so when my friend was back in town and visiting the studio she asked my friend who gave her my contact information.
When she asked me if I still danced, I explained that while I learned an appreciation for the grace that came from hard work, I personally did not dance. I didn’t dance because I knew I wasn’t that good and because my health didn’t permit it. She told me that inside everyone is a graceful dancer of sorts, even if only in our dark bedrooms when no one else can see us. See? Even know in her older years this lady is still successful at living life with dance and connecting me back to it. Perhaps, if I grow up, I too may find a way to be successful in that same model, but with my passion.