Monday, February 2, 2015


This video has been on my mind lately. I've seen it three times now, and it blows me away.

I am not typically a fan of modern dance. I am a fan of Shia LaBeouf. But that has nothing to do with why I like this video. It is beautiful and so full of emotion. You are kept guessing and pulled in different directions by each character the whole way through.

Last week I went to my first ballet class in ... oh ... hmm ... well, since I've been here in Switzerland. And before that ... there were no adult class in Botswana ... I recall taking the odd classes in both VA and AZ but I think that was during previous home leaves or R&Rs. So it's been a long time.

It was supposed to be a "Beginner III" class. It was not. It was squarely in Intermediate territory, and my skill levels are not. I've only done ballet as an adult, so I don't have a repertoire, long forgotten, from a childhood of dance lessons; on the contrary I'm pretty much what you see is what you get.

In last week's class I kept up as best I could and shamelessly copied others. Let me add here that the class is in German and I speak zero German. The good thing about ballet is the terms are always in French, so that is consistent wherever you go.

The class: The technique was difficult, the exercises were complex, the movement was demanding. But it was a good experience. After class I spoke with the teacher (in English) about payment/signing up and it made me feel really good that she encouraged me to stay in that class rather than dropping down to the Beginner II level. She said I kept up with everyone (a major overstatement) and she was very surprised that I had no childhood or other real dance experience.

>> I received the same reaction from my horseback riding teacher during the one and only lesson I took in Botswana (I then "fell pregnant" with Pilar). She could not believe I'd never been on a horse (pony rides don't count) and she remarked on my natural talent. I would love to one day fulfill my other childhood dream of learning to ride horseback.<<

Back to ballet, I will continue lessons here in Bern. If anything, it is good exercise. I wish I had a fraction of the expressiveness in portraying emotion and telling a story as the dancers in the above video.

1 comment:

Stephine said...

Starting ballet training as an adult is not easy. I tried getting into such class two years ago and I did not even finish a week. However, despite the complexity of the exercises and the demanding nature of the movements I wouldn't encourage anyone to drop out as I did. Those who stayed the course are now great ballet dancers.

Stephine @ Donita Ballet School