Like most little girls, I wanted to be a ballerina when I grew up. A ballerina and a paediatrician; strange combination, I know. I used to practice ballet at the Caribbean School of Dance for a hot minute, but when the question of paying for the all-important Common Entrance school leaving lessons VS ballet classes came to the fore with my mother, I don't need to tell you which won out.
Fast forward some years, and I eventually switched over to modern dance (Graham style) via weekly sessions with Auntie Nobes at the Noble Douglas Dance Company (NDDCI) + Liliput Theatre.
Talk about pain, a little, teensy bit of glory, and more pain!
Those many years of modern dance with Noble were the best; I knew I wasn't going to be a Prima anything, and since I had a modicum of talent for modern and, for the least, long arms and legs to flail about the place, I was happy enough to train and dance, for dance's sake.
Noble would say sweet things like, "Thank God you look good on the floor, becuse sometimes you does do some real shit steps, you know?! That is NOT what I showed you - do it AGAIN!"
That Noble... Oh, how we love her!
I still don't know how to gracefully collapse to the floor in a back-bend, a la Martha Graham, and leaping barrel turns still scare me shitless. Nonetheless, those years were the best. Even though I know that a life of dance on the stage is not for me.
I tried a semester at the Martha Graham dance school in NYC two years ago - just to 'see' - and they put me in the advanced adult class, since I already knew the foundation stuff.
Needless to say, I quickly remembered why I stopped dancing; there's only so many times once can say, "oops, sorry!" after turning in the wrong direction, stomping other dancer's toes, or getting the dreaded cramps after an extension.
And so, this is what happens to ballet shoes when its owner stops dancing. They get rinky leather soles sewed onto them, and they're worn to the grocery.
Ah... Trop triste.
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