It has been at least 7 years since I’ve dance. I’m now turning 30, and about as unfit as you would expect a 30-year-old relatively sedentary city dweller would be. I don’t recall any activity in my youth causing me so much pain and stiffness after participating. The reality of age is setting in. I’m not afraid of turning 30 in the way that some flip out because “OMG I’m soooooo OLD!” Nah. Thirty isn’t old, but it’s old enough that it’s taking longer to recuperate. It is very possible that I could injure myself if I’m not careful. That is if we discount the fact that I am already injured; that I was sore half way into my dance session last Thursday and went in tonight still feeling it. I could say I’m injured, but it could be much worse. So I’m going to suck it up, go every week despite how I feel, and simply listen to my body. I will level out eventually, though time will tell how long that will actually take. But when I get there, I will shine….
Muscle memory is a beautiful thing. I am more well trained than I have ever thought to give myself (or my teacher) credit for and it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I am probably one of the best technical dancers in my teen/adult class, even compared to the adults who have never stopped dancing since I did. However, having said that, their classes of choice are never technical in practice but for fun. There are certain areas of ballet skill that suffer simply for lack of strength. My arabesques are not at 90 degrees, my grand jetes are not nearly 180 degrees, my legs shake when I hold my leg in any position, my pirouettes are wobbly, and the cherry on the cake is that I jiggle while doing all of it.
But none of those things matter. Despite having neglected my technique for years I will have wicked turnout. My fifth position looks great. My technical movement is solid save for when my lack of strength trumps it. Building strength will come with the territory. It just takes some time, but holy mother of god do I ever want to dance even more and make it my personal journey to simply work on my technique and do more advanced stuff. It’s in my muscles to remember everything I’ve learned, but it’s also in my head to feel at home in technical syllabus. And maybe, just maybe I’ll add another hour to my week in the future where I dance with the same teacher I had from 14 -19 years old and pick up where I’ve left off. It’s possible and that possibility is so liberating.
I feel so good in spite of how my neglected muscles groups feel. This is going to be so much fun!