Wednesday, June 22, 2011

An Old Passion Revisited

Kelle Hampton's blog is one which I follow religiously for, well, several reasons.  Not the least of which is the fact that it has some of the most beautiful photography you will ever see.  And it's a pleasant design.  And the writer thereof loves easter peeps.  The list goes on.  Basically, it's really great and you should check it out.  This post just showed up today and rang so true with me, so here for you to enjoy is what remains to me of my ballet days (sorry it's kind of long):

One Thirty-Eight Second Solo

Mother took her to gymnastics class
and her four-year-old eyes loved
the old second story studio
hidden away downtown.

Mother took her to gymnastics class
and her eight-year-old eyes despised
the spotless new studio and body-pierced teacher
in the modern rec center.

That summer, she bought a ballet-slipper backpack.
That fall, she did an arabesque in the house,
flinging her arms wide and knocking out her sister’s front tooth.

Mother got the message.

Mother took her to ballet class
and her nine-year-old eyes adored
the new mirrored studio and brown-haired teacher.

She watched the last ten minutes of her sister’s gymnastics class
thrilled that she was now a ballerina, no longer a gymnast.
That year she choreographed and performed her own duet
to the brand new Titanic theme song.

Then Miss Dana stopped teaching ballet. She cried.

Mother took her to ballet class
and her eleven-year-old eyes loved
the old, mirrored, second-story studio
hidden away on the north side of town.

Prima ballerina instructors expect a lot,
even of small girls.

Mother picked her up from ballet class
and her twelve-year-old eyes cried
because teacher shouted at her
for not pointing her toes.

But she knew it was impossible
to become a real ballerina without shedding tears.
Flat feet were her curse,
and she would overcome.

Fourteen – she learned the feeling
of stretching her arch to the fullest,
of pointing as hard as she could,
of rising high on her toes.

Her feet still held her back.

Fifteen – she caught a glimpse of teacher’s bare feet.
Her first thought was of the witch in Hansel and Gretel.
No normal person had feet that gnarled.
Those feet looked like her own feet felt after a long day of practice.

Sixteen – she was reprimanded for having chicken arms,
but teacher said she had potential for grace in those gangly limbs.

Seventeen – She was allowed to practice
once a week on Pointe shoes
and teacher asked her to demonstrate the Pas de Bourree Tour Jete
since she had such graceful arms and legs.

Eighteen – she danced alone on-stage,
realizing Teacher’s and Mother’s pride,
while her blue eyes shone
in that thirty-eight seconds of victory.

1 comment:

  1. :')

    I've seen you dance a solo on stage before...


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