Friday, November 23, 2012

Ballet Class

Did I tell you that I'm dancing again?

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I am! I wrote about missing dance back at the beginning of last summer. I looked around the area, read reviews, called studios, and my heart was definitely set on Lisa Cuzion ballet studio. She was having her summer intensive at the time, so I couldn't join unless I quit work to dance (le sigh), but as soon as fall classes started again, I started going to class twice a week.

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Picking that studio was an excellent decision. Most classes start with some loose stretching and then move into barre. Not with Lisa. Everyone gets out a pilates mat and does about a 15 min workout. Let me tell you, I considered myself to be in pretty good shape: I have no problem going for an 8 mile run, push-ups are ain't no thang, I can even squeeze 2-3 pull-ups out of my arms. (Speaking on pull-ups, this is an interesting article.) But my first class at Lisa's studio, I was completely exhausted and drenched in sweat before we even got to barre.

I feel so much stronger now. I'm in class with girls who are poised to become professional ballerinas. A lot of them are homeschooled so they can dedicate themselves to ballet. A lot of them aren't applying to college, they're applying to ballet schools and ballet summer intensives. They are incredible examples of hard work and determination. Ballet is all about making ourselves look like we're weightless, like standing in arabesque, or leaping in grand jeté is completely effortless. So, if we look like we're not struggling to have control over our bodies, we've done our job. But it's far from easy. Just like acquiring any skill or achieving success in life, it's less about talent and more about how much of yourself you put into it.

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When I first arrived at the studio to meet Lisa, the first thing that jumped out at me was this quote on her door by Michelangelo,
"If you knew how much work went into it, you would not call it genius."
I feel like a lot of people gloss over the fact that, in any field, be it dance, or computer science, or entrepreneurship, successful people work really hard. It's incredibly inspiring to see a girl execute a damn-near perfect adagio, or somebody succeed at making a profit from something that didn't previously exist, because I know that it's a product of years of work, not a product of blind luck. I can't help but take a moment to be totally excited for them, say "Bravo!" and then get right back to work.

1 comment :

  1. Excellent! I'm impressed.

    I feel like I may have linked this nytimes article (and video) to you before; if so, oops. If not, now is the time because it certainly touches on the themes of your post (and involves a teenage Russia-America migration :P ). The girl (Joy Womack) especially blows my mind, its humiliating how humbling she is with her bravery, strength, determination, passion and work ethic, moving to Moscow alone at 15 with no russian because she wanted to make herself the best. And she loves her some Jesus, if you're still into that ;) (although of course the pinko NY Times glosses over that).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/01/arts/dance/01bolshoi.html
    http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/03/ask-the-dancers-young-americans-in-russia-respond/

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