Pretending to Dance

Today was a ballet day (Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9–10 a.m.), so I didn’t walk. That shouldn’t stop me from thinking, but my thoughts in my ballet class tend to run along the lines of “What in the world am I doing here?”

During the summer, when high school and college students sometimes join our adult women’s class, the absurdity of my position is further impressed on me. When I started taking classes 20-odd years ago, I was in my early forties—still a bit long in the tooth for a beginner class but at least still relatively flexible. I gradually improved for the first ten years or so and then, in my fifties, when I began to get arthritic and stiff, lost all that I’d gained and more. Now a fat old lady of 63, I avoid looking in the mirror and try to concentrate on feeling like I’m dancing. It’s still exercise, and the esthetic of it appeals to me more than tai chi or yoga or (shudder!) aerobics, and to the extent that I can do it at all, it helps with my balance and coordination. Moreover, the instructor, who has aged along with the rest of us, now devotes a good bit of the class to stretching, so it’s probably worthwhile. And it certainly heightens our appreciation for what real dancers do.

I won’t be walking tomorrow, either, as we’re flying to Portland, Oregon, for our son’s wedding Saturday. I will certainly have some thoughts about that, and I may post them as I go, or I may be silent until our return next week. Time will tell.

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