Tag Archives: dancing

Can I do this again?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and for good reason.

I thought I’d given up ballet for good. Not long after I retried to get back into ballet, I was promoted to publisher of the small town newspaper that I was editor of.

The long drive and added duties pretty much led to that decision.

Well, something else happened that has rocked my world a little bit. My daughter and I had both been battling weight problems, so we finally decided to find a family doctor in this small New Mexico town.

I was feeling good about where I was at 50. My heart rate is good. My blood pressure was fine. My lungs checked out as I expected as a non-smoker. But because I was overweight (really, I was shocked I weight only 218, which I thought was OK for a man my age), the doctor suggested I do fasting labs.

Maybe doing that right after Thanksgiving wasn’t a great idea. I’m not going to say I’m a border-line diabetic. You either are, or you aren’t. My sugar is too high. My cholesterol is a little high, too.

It’s really not surprising. Too many sodas and too much fried food finally caught up to me.

Changing my diet was the first order of business.

The second? The doc wants me to exercise 4-to-5 days a week.

I started walking. And my cousin and I have set a goal to run in a 10K.

My daughter suggested I get back in dance.

Yeah, at 50.

But it was the only form of exercise I’ve consistently stuck with most of my adult life.

I thought about going back to one of the couple of places I’ve tried since moving to New Mexico.

They’d probably say “you again? how long before you quit again?”

Another dance studio kept popping up in my Facebook feed that encouraged people to give their classes a try after the holidays — including adults.

So I sent an email about the lone adult class listed I could take because of my schedule. I mentioned I took open classes back at my old school in Alabama, and that I had mainly character role performing experience.

Rather than receiving an email giving a little information on the class, the school director asked that I give her a call.

She was curious about my performing experience. A company was not listed on the website or Facebook page. But it turns out the school is attached to a company.

She is encouraging not only to take the class that I sought, but a couple of regular classes she teaches of which adults are allowed to take … and that includes a partnering class that includes adults. She said I could take them at my own pace.

“We also have a choreographer who needs another man for a character role for a ballet this spring about ancient Greece,” she said. “Look at me, I’m already trying to cast you and you haven’t taken a class.”

Really, even at my age, the thought of a partnering class and a performance opportunity does excite me.

And I’m looking forward to taking class tomorrow night.

But some of my doubts have already creeping in about how my skills have already eroded. Seriously, it’s been really two years since I was seriously taking class (not counting the false starts).

What if I’m too fat? What if she says, sorry, you’re not what I thought you were?

I’ve decided to try to have fun tomorrow night.

But I have to wonder … Can I do this again?


A dance dream lives

Found out today that our top company girl has been accepted into Pacific Northwest Ballet’s professional division and will work with one of the top companies in the country.

She joined our school about four years ago from a “competition” studio because she wanted more formal ballet training to complement her competition skills. She ended up ditching the competition studio to focus on a professional ballet career.

She was about 14, I think, and one of the most flexible people I’ve ever known. She’s developed into one of the best dancers I’ve ever known and has danced at some of the top summer intensives in the country.

She’s following in the footsteps of our artistic director and school director, who once danced soloist and principal roles with PNB. I convinced I’ll see her one day perform for a major company, be it PNB, ABT, Ballet West, NYCB or another amazing company.

She has been one of the company kids who homeschooled, so during the regular year, she was in every one of the classes I was in during the past few years. I also got to work with her during partnering classes. She’s a super kid, not a diva. Her folks were valuable volunteers for the company.

It’s a bit bittersweet. Our company is already in transition since our top male dancer who had a professional contract with our company left in midseason last year. Nutcracker will be strange without them both.

But for her I am extremely happy. She’s worked extremely hard for this.