BALLET NORMAL

15 Nov

Today is one month since I moved, after being in the same home for 22 years. Although not a far move by any means, it was nevertheless a major upheaval – packing up your belongings after 22 years in the same place! What to take, what to throw, how much memorabilia do you really need to save? What is worth bringing, what you will use, how it will fit, where will you put it, should it be tossed? And then, arrival in the new digs – where do you place things, how can you get organized, what to do with this, that and the other? (Forget Internet, phones, TV, computers….).

Maybe you just can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Moving is HARD.  Now I know why some people never move – it’s just too difficult, too must work, expensive and filled with anxiety –  for many it’s easier to just stay put!

With this in mind – when nothing is normal and you can’t find your proverbial ass from your elbow – there is one thing that stays incredibly normal and blessedly diverting.  Yes, you guessed it – it’s ballet class!

So there you go – no matter what life brings – where you live, what your relationships, life’s difficulties, distractions, ups and downs – the ballet barre, at least, remains happily reliable – plié, tendu, dégagé, rond de jambe, developpé, frappé, grand battement.. class has order. When life is out-of-order, taking ballet class makes things feel incredibly normal.

Normal is good.

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3 Responses to “BALLET NORMAL”

  1. purplemagnolia November 16, 2011 at 3:19 AM #

    So true! I love the routine of ballet class.

  2. ballettothepeople December 6, 2011 at 1:50 AM #

    Absolutely! It’s true when you teach, too. If something unsettling happens and you have to walk into the studio and say “two demi-pliés, grand plié and cambré side” and then watch everyone and remind them to push down into the floor instead of rising up out of the floor, you can’t focus on anything else, and the unsettling stuff goes away for a while. Ballet requires so much focus and discipline – whatever level you’re at and whether you are taking class or teaching – that you can’t think about or worry about anything else in class. I find this is different from many other physical pursuits during which your mind can more easily wander. It’s not a question of how physically taxing the activity is – it has more to do with how complex the activity is and how much brainpower you need to engage. Turns out that most of ballet class is all about trying to stay on top of your standing leg – and this is quite a mental challenge!

    • AdriaBalletBeat December 6, 2011 at 8:33 AM #

      There you have it – it’s about focus and discipline. Other forms of exercise let the mind wander. Ballet is more of a mind game – the mindfulness and physicality of ballet cause the world around us to disappear, and I like that!

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