Thursday, September 24, 2009
Why do we do what we do??
I have my pointe shoes on again. Just for barre right now, but I am hoping to eventually wear them for the whole class. Today I wondered who in the world would think up such a strange (and truthfully, barbaric) contraption to wear on one's foot. My conclusion? It must have been a man, because no woman would willingly put herself through this torture. Let's talk about the downside of pointe shoes: Blisters. Bruises. Foot exhaustion. Difficulty doing anything in a graceful manner. Sound fun?
Ballet has never been an activity for wimps. Many a teacher has said to me, "If it doesn't hurt, then you aren't doing it right." Yes, that is true for many things in ballet. As a ballet instructor myself, I have had so many beginning adult ballet students say to me, "I never knew it was this hard!" One reason this is true is because ballet dancers, unlike weight lifters, are not allowed to show any sign of strain or stress as we do our thing. We must always look cool, calm and collected, and elegant. When you watch a professional dancer perform thirty two fuettes in pointe shoes, it often looks like she could do it in her sleep. But it is a trick! She's just a good actress.
So why do we do what we do? For me, it is something that came alive in me at a very young age. I saw Suzanne Farrell on Sesame Street and instantly wanted to be a ballerina. Something in my soul was set on fire and I haven't been able to shake it since (though sometimes I'd like to). It is my outlet and my way of expressing the artistic part of myself. I can't get away from it. I took a break from dancing for a couple years while I was overseas and I am quite sure some of my emotional struggles during that time were due to the fact my soul was being stifled.
I find it fascinating that many people have the same passion for other things like skiing, crafts, running, animals, nature. It's beautiful how we were created with that specific spark inside, just waiting to be lit, at the first sight or experience of our own special thing.