Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ballet Today

"This is the combination I gave to The Advanced Girls."

When Suki says that to our ballet class, we all feel great.

The Advanced Girls are the top class of ballet students at our studio. They're high school girls, they've been dancing since they were six, and they've been in numerous studio recitals and shows (our school puts on regular ballets like Coppelia and The Frog Princess as well as the usual recitals). Some of The Advanced Girls have been selected to attend summer sessions with ballet companies in New York, Chicago, and Pennsylvania.

It makes me glad to know that, at 44, and after having only 4 years of ballet (and OK, some modern and ballet when I was in high school and college) I can aspire to being able to dance with The Advanced Girls.

There's something about performance, and maybe especially about dance, that makes you very aware of your rank--how you measure up. Unlike TKD, there are no belts or patches to designate how good you are. Well, at least when you're an adult--there are just 2 or 3 adult classes, so there aren't ranks (like Ballet 4 or Ballet 5).

But still. I'm very aware of my rank in our adult class. It's either 3rd or 4th right now. I'm after Lehrin (who is 20), Shannon (who took ballet with Suki's teacher when she was younger), and Susan. Well, I'm more musical and graceful than Susan, but she can do brises and entreche quatres while I can't.

It's so weird to be so aware of that, especially when there's no official ranking in that class. Sometimes I wish I wasn't aware. Other times I like it, because I know who to watch and emulate!

Still other times, I must admit, I just wish I ranked first.

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