Finding the Ballerina Within

Align Ballet

I heart dance of all kinds. Whether or not I’m good at it, that’s all relative. But, lucky for me I have very little shame and don’t mind looking like the ever fool.

Ballet for me, was always an infatuation, even though I never really had much experience actually dancing ballet. I collected Degas printed anything. I cut out photos of ballerinas en pointe. I believe I was just a wee toddler when my mom took me to my first ballet class at the rec center. I learned a dance to “I’m a Little Teapot.” Nothing really came out of it except I learned where my toes were, peeking out from under my rotund, teapot-like belly.

I didn’t revisit dance again until I was in junior high school and the closest thing we had was modern dance as a PE class taught by a very bouncy and busty aerobics instructor who didn’t believe in sports bras.

In high school, I joined the dance drill team. Though it was more drill than dance with lots of parades where I learned the graceful avoidance of horse poo. The rule was that when in competition and if the part of the routine where we had to salute the judges on one knee came up, and you happened to be right in front of a big, ‘ole pile of poop, you had no choice but to kneel in it. I was dedicated but I wasn’t THAT dedicated. You bet I learned how to avoid that shit, no pun intended, with the utmost grace.

In college, I took all the intro dance classes to my heart’s content or that my schedule could actually accommodate. I was reacquainted with ballet. I bought a leotard, a ballet skirt, pink tights and ballet shoes. My dance teacher said I had good ballet feet. I beamed.

Then a decade or so pass and as my flexibility waned, I thought it would be a great idea to take ballet classes again. Always up for unthinkable challenges. A Google search for adult ballet classes leads me to Michael Cornell’s Align Ballet Method, which is “dedicated to authentic ballet training for adults.” Six classes later of Align1 and that’s me second from the right, almost looking like a real dancer.

I am in love with these classes. It’s definitely real ballet instruction and not just one of those fitness classes that have barre in the name but ends up like a military boot camp. While learning the fundamentals of ballet you are building your core, regaining your flexibility and strengthening leg muscles all while looking very graceful doing it.

Dance is like candy for the body and soul.



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