Flashback: Tutus & Tip-toes

Before I had to decide between grass-stained jerseys and life on the soccer field versus poised feet and a bun in my hair, my world consisted of dance and sport. I took lessons in tap, jazz and ballet during those formative years, and loved every minute of it. Of course, choosing the life of an athlete over a dancer seemed easy – the tomboy in me had nothing to mull over, no second thoughts.

The choice stands; if I could only have running and nothing else, I would take it.

But, I do like to try new things, to switch it up.

ballet shoes

Continuing an annual tradition, we saw the Nutcracker right before Christmas. I always sit there in complete awe – the art of true ballet, the leg muscles it takes to stand on your toes like that (also, ouch), the flexibility of every joint, and the complete poise they maintain through and through.

The soccer player and marathon-runner in me totally cringes. The dancer in me has flashbacks. The yoga lover mind of mine finally realized why that practice is fun for me – it’s a small taste of dance, stretching, and following a sequence.

On Christmas morning, I had two very thoughtful gifts from D – a class pass, and a pair of brand new shoes (that stand out in class – these need to broken in!).

washington ballet

I finally made it to the adult “Advanced Beginner” class on Monday night, and was immediately thankful that I at least do yoga! Flexibility is essential, and without the weekly stretch and pose I give these muscles, I would’ve been so much worse off.

But the hips don’t lie – plies are much more difficult than my young legs remember, and staying in third position is insanely unforgiving. The teacher picked me out of the crowd of at least 40 within minutes – You’re a new face. Oh, hello, good sir…

It came back right away; my posture stiffened, my arms went right into position, and my feet knew what they were supposed to do. My muscles are obviously taking their sweet time getting ‘back in the game’, reminding me that I haven’t done anything of the sort in well over 10 years. Remember all those miles we’ve given you? The finish lines you’ve crossed? Yup. You’re welcome.

After class, he commended me for keeping up and said “I can tell that your brain knows what to do, and your legs are trying to catching up.”

I’ll try not to get too far ahead of them. I’d prefer these legs stick around, doing what they do best, and putting up with the adventures I take on outside of their norm.

Maybe at our next class I’ll even wear tights….


What sport, or activity/hobby, took hold of you at a young age? Have you ever gone back to it?



Filed under about me, doin things My way, new things!, things that make me Happy

16 responses to “Flashback: Tutus & Tip-toes

  1. I played tennis for years – from about age 7 through highschool. I wasn’t good enough to play in college, but it’s definitely something I’d like to get back in to.

  2. Aw fun! Glad you’ve found a way to be able to enjoy ballet again! I played softball since I was about 5 and volleyball since 7th grade and miss them both a lot! I played a lot of intramurals in college and was on teams when I had a job in Charlotte, but it’s hard to form a team now when I work from home, haha. 😉

  3. I danced ballet (and pointe later) for 20+ years and miss it terribly. I wish they had an advanced beginner class here. I don’t want to perform on stage and would NEVER dream of getting this tushy in a tu-tu again but I would love to take a few classes w/ adults (not teenagers half my size). Congrats to you on taking that first step back.

  4. That is the coolest gift idea! I love that you went back to your roots on this one, something I never knew about you. VERY cool!! PS I always wished I got to take ballet as a kid, but never got that chance. Maybe that’s why I’m so drawn to barre workouts now??

  5. I’ve always wanted to take ballet, my whole life, but I never have (at least not since I was 5). it sounds like sooooo much fun!

  6. What a perfect gift! Love that you went back to ballet. I’m sre those legs will catch up faster than you think.

    I was sports all the way as a kid, not a dancing bone in my body! I played softball most and took up an adult rec league a few ears ago. It has since fallen to the wayside again, but I often think about getting back into it.

  7. Jason

    I’ve accepted my status as a “has-been” when it comes to tennis. It was great while it lasted, but the desire just isn’t there any more to really compete at it again…..Ping Pong on the other hand that’s a life skill, and I plan on tearing it up on the table at my local Retirement Community Rec Center when I’m old!

  8. Mamacita

    Enjoyed this post and Jason’s comment. Dad and I certainly enjoyed all the sports, dance and piano recitals, etc while you three were growing up. So many life lessons learned on the soccer fields, tennis courts, and recital stages. Enjoy your ballet lessons! That was such a thoughtful gift from D!

  9. I took ballet from ages 3-18, as well as a bunch of other types of dance. I’ve taken some less-strict classes as an adult (jazz, lyrical, etc) but I am so scared to walk back into a ballet studio. Kudos to you! I still have my old, beat up shoes, and my last couple pair of pointe shoes, in my dresser!

  10. This is insanely cool. My toes are cringing thinking about it.

    “I can tell that your brain knows what to do, and your legs are trying to catching up.” — that is amazing and I am going to be thrilled to watch your progress.

  11. That’s awesome! I have always loved dance, but haven’t taken many classes (when I was young I did and then a hip hop class in college). I think if I actually put some time into it, I would enjoy it. Not so sure I have the body for ballet, but it is such a beautiful art/sport.

  12. I did gymnastics. I never went back to it, but strangely I’ve never lost the ability to do a backbend 🙂

  13. Lauren

    Love that you are doing ballet again!! I am jealous! I would love to do tap or jazz again…I was never too graceful so ballet wasn’t really my thing. 😉 I love kickball because it reminds me of soccer! Before games Dustin and I kick the ball around and memories of the soccer field come rushing back! I have to say I’ll always love ping-pong just like Jason too! We played so much this weekend when we went home. 🙂

  14. What a cool opportunity to get back into ballet. I used to take jazz lessons for three years and I loved it. I think it would be really fun to get back into some sort of a more structured dance class. Zumba just doesn’t really do it for me.

    • Heather C

      I think Zumba is a lot of fun, but yeah, definitely not the same as a structured jazz / dance class. I’m sure if you looked around there are some adult classes offered at a studio in your area! 🙂

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