I, like most little girls, discovered dance at an early age in ballet classes filled with pink tulle, black leotards, and the endless shine of a room filled with too many mirrors. I loved to move, but the “pink-ness” of it all eventually pushed me away.
I’ve never felt traditionally beautiful, traditionally “girly”, so the pink nature of ballet and the other dance students I was surrounded with slowly, but surely pushed me out of the dance studios.
I moved on.
To choir. To sports. To art. To theatre.
And theatre is where I’ve built my life. It’s where I’ve poured my foundation, begun building my home, planned out my future. It’s where I’ve been for oh so long and I continue to be.
But it has recently come to my attention that the dancer inside me has never died. I have always loved movement in theatre. I’ve danced for musicals, I’ve learned choreography for sword fights and hand-to-hand combat, I’ve learned how to belly dance, how to swing myself up on to someone else shoulder (with grace), I’ve taken every opportunity to push the physical nature of my work. And then…I taught a voice and movement class. My teaching, to this day, continues to be based in movement.
Finally, after years hiding from the “pinkness” of dance studios, I have found myself back in a dance-type environment. But this time, there aren’t too many mirrors. The leotards still exist (but mine was green). There was no pink in sight (except for Pink blaring on the stereo) and the studio itself was much taller than the one’s I used to practice in.
Well, the taller the better for aerial dance.
Walking in to this studio I was in awe. It was stunning. This miraculous playground I had never before been subject to. Long trails of beautiful silk dangled from the ceiling beside low-flying trapeze bars and ropes. And there was something oddly comforting about the environment.
I was the only one signed up for the class that day. I would be alone with a strange teacher for almost an hour. Usually this sort of situation would send me into a nervous frenzy. Butterflies would bubble in my stomach, the sentences tumbling out of my mouth would make little to no sense, and I would leave feeling more foolish than I had when I entered. But this space…..this space and those silks felt like home. A home I never knew I had before.
And that feeling didn’t change when I touched the silks. It only magnified as I began to wrap myself in the silk, spin on my toes, arch my back, climb my way up to heights I had never been more comfortable at. The strength and the beauty of it all seemed to be at just the right balance for who I am as a person. For who I want to be.
It didn’t feel like the “pink” I remember creeping away from when I took ballet almost twenty-years ago. It felt…like me.