Queensland's leading adult ballet school
Celebrating 10 Years
two ballerinas

Sharyn McIntyre

My dancing diary so far…

So you were Mummy’s little Ballerina.  The pride of your Father’s eye.  You enjoyed the other little s around you and just loved your teacher.  You were special because you got to wear pretty leotards, pink tights, and georgette skirts.  Your hair was agonizingly knotted up funny. Often!  You weren’t like the other kids at school.  They did sport!  They got filthy every second afternoon a week, and came to school the next day with skin off elbows and knees, while you were rushed off to ballet classes, safe and protected.

And now, some decades later you find yourself in a room.  A perfectly lined up bar across two walls of a dance studio, other walls with mirrors!; and others looking sheepish too. Two beautiful women sit at the entry; and welcome in us adults who were once little ballerinas, and now wondering what on earth we were doing.

Out of boxes and bags, came tightened-up leather slippers.  Slightly shriveled from time, and blackened from years of dancing.  Others brand new.  So perfectly pink, it’s almost embarrassing.  While others don socks.  We flex our feet and wonder how on earth we stood on our toes once, and where our arches had gone?

So it was time.

Lesson One.

A flurry of French terms, natural arm movements, heads moving surprisingly appropriately, and creaking knees and ankles as we demi plied, sauted and not so balanced pirouettes throughout the class.  Giggles, just like the little s we once were come from the room, as we look at our real ballerina teacher and ask her to repeat what she just said. (English would have helped.)  Ah yes, with common acknowledgment.  Let us try that again!

Lesson Two.

A common chatter of what wasn’t sore in the two days after our first lesson.  New ballet slippers and outfits in the room.  A level of seriousness not seen before.  Our ballerina teacher carefully taking us back into the old dimension but on a new platform.  Totally grown women and a couple of men, dancing like they used to way back in the beginning years of young life through to early hood, but just slightly built differently.  No quite as stealth, supple or limber. Not quite the turnout, or extension.  But the spirit – and the joy.

We could be ourselves. Totally uninhibited, gaining strength, confidence, height.

Lesson Three.

I found myself out running one day to music, and at the end when I was stretching, some soft gentle music came on through my Ipod, and there I was…  stepping out a couple of the enchainments, complete with port de bras, out in the open for all to see.  Not quite so petite in smelly running clothes and shoes, but somehow it’s getting into my head.

I find myself standing taller. Holding my hands differently.  Throwing a foot forward in a point checking my arches and turnout every now and then.  Occasionally I drop the “Ballet” word to my peers, and they double take – “You’re what?  Taking ballet lessons?”.

Lesson Four.

OK.  So not everyday can be a ballerina day.  Today I was an elephant.  Four legs instead of two, and no brain to think out the steps, let alone achieve them.  A coffee afterwards helped.

Lesson Five.

New ballet friends smile as I arrive.  During the week I exchanged children’s size pink tights, for ones, and now I can extend my leg for a demi grands ronde je jamb en lair without the crutch around my mid leg!  What a relief!  Finally starting to feel that things are coming together, but must remember to eat more breakfast for my mid morning class.  Just loving it.

I’m away next week.  Racing a triathlon in another country.  I will miss my Ballet class and will rush back as quickly as possible to rejoin it.

Bravo Rosetta and Michelle.

I extend a curtsey to you both.

Sharyn McIntyre

top Last modified: Sun 3 Jan 2010