Thursday, March 31, 2005

Built for ballet

When I was a little girl, in that "I want to be a ballerina" phase, my mom pointed out that I am not built for ballet.

"You're too short, and your legs are too short," she told me.

My legs are not really very long; it's true. But being short can be an advantage to ballerinas. They will never tower over any partner, even en pointe.

I think that most people are not built for ballet. But parts of them can be!

For example. My legs are short, and I have slightly hyperextended knees (when my legs are straight, my legs bow ever so slightly backwards). I have no flexibilty in my back to do arabesques. However, all my teachers tell me I have wonderful feet (feet, of all things!) because they are flexible. Not to mention long, which helps give lift to jumps. I'm also short (a good thing) and on the skinny side, which doesn't hurt.

In Adult ballet, Lisa is by far the best dancer. Besides her ability, she has long legs and arms, and a graceful neck. But she is tall, which is actually not good for ballet. Still, you should see her do petite and grande allegros!

Today, Suki had Rachel show us her back flexibilty. She can do wonderful arabesques because her back bends so nicely. She's also young! Lehrin is also young, and she has nice long legs. She looks like a dancer.

My teacher last semester, Carol, has a beautiful hourglass figure--not a figure usually thought of as "built for ballet!" But she is a wonderful teacher and dancer.

The thing is, we can all do ballet. That's the nice thing about an adult class. No one there has any pretensions of going pro. We're just there to enjoy it and to work with what we've got.

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