Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ballet Girls

For the past few weeks, I've found myself engrossed in the 3-part documentary mini-series Ballet Girls. Filmed in the second half of 2005 at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, it follows a number of young and teenage girls, as they take-part in an intensive dance camp, through enrollment in the school of dance, through auditions for the RWB's annual production of The Nutcracker touring company.

The series has been making me think a lot about my own childhood, and the time I spent dancing. It makes me think about how different my life could have been if I had a different temperament as a child. As a kid, I was a quitter. It's true! I know some of you who have only known me as an adult might scoff at the thought, but, seriously, it's true.

I saw first enrolled in ballet class before I was even enrolled in grade school. I took part in two recitals, and have the photographic evidence that I just might have to scan when I next visit my parents to prove it. Following a move to a new city, a couple of years later I enrolled in gymnastics. And quit. And started taking piano classes. And quit. And enrolled in jazz dance classes. And quit.

And though I was a middling-to-not-so-bad student in all of them, I had neither the love or drive for any to make a permanent part of my life. Which is a shame, because I think my body was made for all of them. Long limbs; small stature; long, tapering fingers; flexibility that can sometimes be a little circus-freak scary; feet with a pointe that my dance instructors would use as an example for other students.

And it's making me think a lot of about how fun re-taking up ballet would be, and how the last dance studio that I attended is still up-and-running. And how I should call to see if they're offering adult classes. Because how could wearing a tutu as a 32-year-old woman not fucking rule?


roro said...

Man, I'm so choked - I just found out about this documentary the other day and it looks like I can only catch the finale. Maybe they'll re-run it. Anyway - dance class as an adult is waaay more fun than as a child. And wearing a tutu WOULD rock! Go for it!

Melissa said...

Oh, Rose, I do hope they re-run it. The first episode is amazing to watch, not only for the dedication that these young, young girls have, but for the crazy girl from St Catherines too. If there ever was a child that could make a monk give up his vow of silence in order to tell her to take her crazy-ass exuberant and dramatic exclamations and stick 'em where the sun don't shine, it would be her.