I like to watch ballet, particularly good ballet. I like the floating, flying feeling of ballet. I have now taken two ballet lessons and I have not found, and think I never will, that floating, flying feeling. Being light on my feet is not how I would describe myself. However, those two lessons have made me appreciate the incredible core strength that is required for even the most basic of ballet steps. I am finding that ballet is making me feel my age – my knees hurt, my left hip aches and I can’t get all the parts of my body to move together at the same time. I can concentrate on moving my feet and legs correctly or I can concentrate on moving my arms or my head, but I don’t seem to be able to move all parts of my body in any kind of coordinated way. And while I can concentrate on moving my feet and legs correctly, that doesn’t mean that I am actually moving them correctly – I am only thinking about moving them correctly. So I am feeling pretty awkward. I really like the exercises at the bar the best and I worry about when we have to let go of it – which happens mid-way through each class, when the bar is moved. But so far, I have been able to stay upright without the bar.
Having said all this – I am thoroughly enjoying the ballet lessons. They make me move in a different way. They make me stretch in a different way. They make me think in a different way. They make me laugh at myself. I know if I can continue with them that my core strength will increase, that my balance will improve, and that I will get better at coordinating all the parts of my body. I know I will never be a ballerina, but I will get better at doing ballet. There is a young teenage girl in the class, who does actually float like a butterfly, and it is fun to have her there to demonstrate steps for us. The contrast between her and me makes me smile. It also reminds me that I am 67 and that I am blessed to be physically able to take ballet lessons. These lessons make me grateful for being able to walk, to move freely, to dance and to take on the challenge of learning something new.