21 February 2009

So You Think You Can Dance?

Yes...no...well, sort of. No, I'm not talking about the TV reality show but about me: I like to dance. I've been dancing on and off since I could walk - I have a small scar above my upper lip to prove it (which one day you may see if I am every brave enough to post a photo). The incident occurred because I happened (as you do) to be dancing on a coffee table. However, said coffee table couldn't handle my dance interpretation of Wired for Sound (Cliff Richard)...or at least I think that is what I was dancing too at the time). I should point out that I wasn't very old at the time of said incident in case you take umbrage at my musical taste *grin*

When I was young, ballet was the only activity I wanted to do, but unfortunately classes were too expensive. My mother was able to approach the local ballet school about lessons shortly after I turned 10 years old; however, the teacher informed her that I was too old to start ballet. So, I learnt jazz ballet/modern dance instead throughout my teens and twenties, with gaps of various lengths because of university/college and my OE to the UK.

For the last 3 years I have been learning jazz ballet (Jazz Addict syllabus) at a local dance school. I'm currently working towards my Advanced I dance exam in late June/early July. This week was my second week back to class and, like each year before it, has proved without a shadow of a doubt that I can't dance. Each year the exam syllabus seems exponentially harder that the year before. Sometimes I honestly thing I am mad to put myself through this, especially considering that the average age of the rest of my class is approximately 16 years....and I'm old enough to be their mother...
I did find the courage to ask my dance teacher on Thursday if she thought I could handle the Advanced I exam, and she thinks I can. I just need to be fitter (by a country mile) than I am now plus I need to strengthen my wrists as at the moment they are incredibly weak (from the tendonitis) and that placed severe limitations on me in the floorwork exercise (among others).

So, am I completely mad to be dancing at my age? What activities do you enjoy that you occasionally think you are mad for continuing?


  1. Heh... I have *always*, since we first became friends when we were 10 years old, loved watching you dance. I've always loved (and envied) the sense of freedom and grace I see you manifest as you move. Plus, of course, I've always felt incredibly honoured that you trusted me enough to drop your barriers and allow me to watch you in those few occasions where you have done.

    So I'd kind of take issue with the blanket statement that you "can't dance", kechara. You may be having difficulty with the syllabus (and I'm sorry to hear that you are - I know well how frustrating it can get to feel as though you ought to be able to manage something better than you're actually doing!), but that's a different proposition entirely from saying that you can't dance at all ;-)

    As for asking if you're mad - hell, no! Creative, yes. Graceful, yes. Very cool, yes. But mad? Uh uh.

    I don't know why, but your post makes me think of this song (which came out while we were in the UK). There's something about the freedom in the dancing (and the keeping on going despite everything the world throws at you) that really makes me think of you :-)

    As for activities that I'm mad to be continuing... as exhibit A, I give you Trailwalker. As exhibit B, I give you... stuff we've discussed that I'm NOT going to write about in public ;-)

    WTTW, and keep on dancing

  2. You have and please know how much I appreciate that :) I feel comfortable around you...and safe...and those might not seem like massive compliments but they are :)

    Of late, I've been overthinking my dancing - I'm lost that freedom of expression I had when I was younger. I think...I hope...that if I sort everything else out that it whizzing around in my brain that freedom will come back :) Classes are always difficult until I 'know' the syllabus. And if I get my A into G and improve my fitness and wrist strength the syllabus might be a little easier.

    As for mad activities - LOL! But hey, what would life be like if we weren't a little mad :)

  3. I think it's absolutely fantastic that you've decided to pick up dance again! If dancing is what makes you happy, you should do it. You're never too old to follow your heart, right?

    p.s. Forget the photo of the scar. I want a photo of your smile. :)

    ... no pressure. ;)

  4. Thank you Christine! Hmmmmm...will see what I can find photo-wise :)

  5. I guess my question would be... why do you dance?

    To earn a spot in a dancing troupe? or to free/feed your soul?

    Seems to me it's the second, and then it's not only not madness, it's essential to your sanity.

    (and what Christine said)

  6. I say do it if you like it!

    Me, I'll try something, but it I don't like it I don't continue. If I like it, I'll do it whether or not I think I'm good at it.

    (agree with the others)

  7. Thank you azteclady/Aymless!

    azteclady - it used to be to feed my soul. I think it still it, but I'm so tied up in knots it's hard to know. I'm going to keep persevering though but I can still catch glimpses...I just have to find it again :)