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.