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Monday, July 7, 2008

There is no such thing as half-empty in my world

You know, even though I'm at a slight disadvantage for starting ballet so late in life, I'm glad that I wasn't a bunhead at an early age. Really. I never had to add pressures to perform or maintain a certain physique to the already awkward preteen and teenage years. I may not have the best turnout, my feet might not point into a perfect little half-moon, nor am I the best pirouetter in the world, but I really, truly enjoy ballet.

I'm not implying that all dancers who started dancing at a young age dislike or hate ballet. But in the short time that I've been in ballet training I've occassionally come across angry, resentful ballerinas who are bitter towards ballet. Take my good friend, for instance. Recently she commented that taking class is pointless for her at this point, because she won't be doing anything with it. "What's the point?" she posed (um, maybe for the joy it brings? how dancing makes you feel empowered, happy, strong...?). She also told me she's disappointed in my choice to study dance, as there's no money it it. Um, thank you, I'm aware of that, and most dancers who are pursuing dance as a career are aware, too. I think it's pretty safe to say that I'm not in this for the money.

That conversation makes me sad for her and anyone else who thinks similarly. Yes, there's a damn good guarantee that I will live paycheck-to-paycheck and that I will most likely have to work extra jobs to make ends meet, but that's how I've lived over the past 10 years and I know how to make it work. I'm not too worried about it. The conversation also makes me incredibly grateful that I didn't join the ballet world until I was 28 years old in that I'm able to be impervious to bitterness and other negative emotions that I don't want corrupting my sunshiney outlook.

This is why being 29 is a blessing in disguise. Some may consider my "advanced age" (I'm speaking in dance years, remember) a handicap as far as my future success in the dance world may go, but I think of it as being a li'l golden nugget my 18-, 19-, and 20-year-old peers aren't yet blessed with. I know what makes my heart and soul tick and this knowledge is what will bring me success because it gives me drive. I believe this is the "moxy" someone once told me I possess.

Glass-is-half-full, baby.


  1. No "corrupting [your] sunshiney outlook," eh? I've seen your outlook not be entirely sunshiney a time or two, I think.

    But anyway, I'm glad that you're not going to fall victim to the disdain that sometimes follows the really intense art/career/hobby people. Things that take super crazy dedication, like dance, music, etc, are probably not best practiced by really young people who are (at least partially - if not mostly) doing it because mom signed them up for it. It definitely looses something when you spend 6 hours a day on something that you'd rather not do -- especially when you're not getting paid to do it, but that's another story.

    Those crazy activities are probably much better appreciated by "older" folks (like us) who decided for themselves that this is what they want to do and garsh-ding-it, they're gonna gitrdone.

    Still, young people do learn much faster, and some things really do take your entire youth to learn, and sometimes it takes an immature body to do certain things. But that doesn't mean they will look back on those years in their lives and say, "wow, I'm glad I spent sooo much time doing activity x instead of hanging out with my friends".

    Oh well. Good work, JD!

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  3. No, you had it right, you're just going to comment to your own blog in response to another comment. If it happens to be in chronological order, then you can just do it like a conversation, but a lot of times you would preface your comment with an "@ commenter:" just so it's clear who / what you're referring to.

    There really aught to be a manual for how to be an amateur blogger. I should also learn how to spell amateur...

  4. @ matt :o)
    I'll figure this out eventually ;) Thanks for the tips!

  5. Hey Jess Bess, just checking in on your blog today. Forget about age: As long as you can move, you can dance. And as long as you've got moxy, people will pay you. Whether that be performing, teaching, judging, or entertaining. And if it feeds your soul, you've got it made. You can do it, I believe in you girl!

  6. tch. and another thing. that friend pretty much said, "I'm disappointed in you for not making money your top priority in life". deep.

  7. @ Dani
    Thanks girly, your support means so much! :)

  8. JD- i like that, i'm gonna call you JD now- you go gurl! I believe in you too and totally look up to you as a dancer and performer- you rock big time g-money! =D

  9. @ Melissa
    Aww, shucks Mel... thanks :)