Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Miss Chattis was a strict lady, and often made the girls in my class cry. I never understood the discipline that was expected of us, and the reason for her harshness. I hated being shouted at, and lost my love for ballet. I fought with my mom, begging her to let me quit. When she finally gave in, I was really pleased; after all, ballet was so “uncool”.
I then enrolled in a “Funk Jazz” class that was taught by one of my teachers in a private studio after school. The dancing was so different to ballet, there was a lot more freedom, and I enjoyed the contrast. Unfortunately, my teacher moved to Cape Town, and I stopped dancing.
As the years passed, I began to realise the beauty of ballet, and just how much I loved it. I really wished I had persevered. I felt that I had missed out on too much, and I was too old to join a class from where I had left off.
I decided I would try “Modern Dancing”. I joined an academy that was just up the road from my house so I would walk up to class twice a week. The girls in the class were about a year or two younger than I was, and were quite advanced dancers. As I had never done Modern Dancing before, I really struggled to find my way around some of the steps and routines, and always felt as if I was dragging the girls behind. As a result, I gave up modern dancing.
I really missed ballet, and my regret grew more and more. I often mentioned this regret to my boyfriend.
In December of 2008, I received one of the best Christmas presents ever…My boyfriend had arranged for me to have private lessons, with his friends mother – Manuela. I attended lessons twice a week after work, at a studio just up the road from where I work. I was in my element! Near the end of 2009, Manuela asked if I would be in a production she was putting on called “Music through the Decades”. We practiced really hard, and put in many hours of rehearsal. Finally the big night arrived, and all our hard work was a success. We performed in the “Grease” segment of the show, which I believe was definitely the most fun. The rest of the show was absolutely spectacular, and even sparked my interest in Bollywood dancing.
Manuela teaches dancing full time, and having to stay late to teach me, was really taking it out of her. She arranged for one of her past students to hold my class. My new teacher was an amazing dancer, and I was in awe of her graceful movement. She is a good example of the kind of success dancers can enjoy if they only persevere (of course natural talent plays a massive part in this too). She was constantly putting together dances for various clubs, practicing routines for big sporting events, and being flown to exotic destinations to dance for royalty. Alas this took a toll on my lessons, as she was away so often.
Unfortunately, once again, I am left with an empty feeling…Missing ballet so much…regretting ever stopping in the first place… I try and fill this void by watching movies, reading books, and on occasion watching live performances to do with dance. I am minutes away from delving into a book called “Mao’s Last Dancer”… which my mom took out of her book club for me. I also read that the movie is being released soon…
I have decided to join a NIA class; NIA is a combination of dance, martial arts and healing arts, and will also give the “Cardio Dance” class at gym a bash.
I shall keep you posted on the books, movies and classes…