I love it, but I don't.
When done well, it is completely breathtaking. I first fell in love with the ballet when I was thirteen, when my uncle took me to see the Colorado Ballet's Nutcracker for my birthday. I left clutching the Nutcracker doll he bought for me with stars in my eyes, imagining myself to be one of the ballerinas floating around stage in a sparkly tutu and glittery tiara.
Never did I realize how technical and demanding and difficult ballet was/is until I started taking it two years ago. I will admit that as I got older and started playing sports, I got cocky, thinking, "oh, ballet dancers... what a bunch of ninnies... play a real sport..." Psshh. I had no idea. NONE. When I started taking ballet two years ago, I acquired an entirely new appreciation for the ballerinas (and guy ballet dancers), for under all that glitter and sparkle is hours, months, YEARS of hard, hard work. Harder than anything I have ever known. Soccer and tennis and softball ain't got nothin' on ballet.
Consider this: a dancer not only has to rock it physically and mentally like other athletes, but they also have to pull it off with panache and artistry in order to make it look effortless and beautiful.
But even with my newly acquired respect for ballet, ballet and I aren't the best of friends. I do it because I have to, because I should... it is the best technical foundation for all my other forms of dance... but that sucks, because I would like to say "I do it because I want to" (god, even maybe "like" or "love"). So far, that hasn't been the case.
I'm not great at ballet and it frustrates the hell out of me. I want to be good at ballet. I hate not doing something well, particularly when it's something I care about. Granted, I started this technical dance adventure (I did dance before that, just more vernacular street styles) at the good ol' age of 28 - it's not like I've trained in ballet since I was young, which would have allowed my body to "grow" into the technique. So I should give myself some breathing room. But I don't. I want my feet to point more than they do, I want beautiful arms and hands, I'd like my legs to stay turned out as I do the exercises...
None of these are impossible to attain, and I'm working on them. Every. Single. Day. But goddamn, it's slow, and I'm not a patient girl.
My struggle with ballet is also influenced by my ballet teachers here at school, who have kept me in the same level I started at two years ago. Now I know my ballet technique is far from perfect and I have many miles to go on this road of pointe shoes and tutus, BUT I shouldn't be in this class anymore. I know it, my peers know it. It's ree-donk-ulous. And hella frustrating. I only get so far in learning because I keep starting over again each semester. I'm stuck in some alternate-universe ballet twilight zone.
But then something happened... the planets aligned just so and I enjoyed ballet today... I had FUN. I felt GIDDY afterwards. All thanks to the State Street Ballet Company who stopped in the FoCo on their tour and taught a master class, giving us CSU students a taste of what it's like to actually enjoy a ballet class.
Not only that, though... I am usually so discouraged in my ballet classes, always thinking I suck so badly, but today was different. I kept up with everyone just fine. And at one point during the class I thought, I can do this, I can do ballet. If I really busted my ass, I could actually get shiz done in ballet. Seriously. The dilemma is getting out of this cursed beginning level...
Tonight I get to see them perform Cinderella! I am so excited. I get to go to the ballet!!! I'm anticipating feeling the usual butterflies I get when I go to the ballet... a mix of wanting to dance like those girls on stage, as well as the simple magic that is the ballet. At least for me. I love it.