Your mama don’t dance — like she used to do

I‘ve been thinking about taking ballet class again. Unfortunately, my next thought was that it’s been 30 years since I last pointed a toe.
When I’m going to do something mildly insane like this, I need to just dive in. If I take time to consider all the consequences, there’s trouble. Every time I get this urge to strap on the old toe shoes, (emphasis on “old”) I tend to picture myself as I was 30 years ago, with the body I had 30 years ago. That bubble was soundly shattered the minute I went to buy a leotard and tights. Few things are quite as revealing as a leotard and tights.
Then I try on the leotard and tights. Then I picture myself in that leotard and tights in front of a class full of young things in leotards and tights. I immediately wonder if I can find an adequately generous yet graceful overskirt to wear or if I will have to invest in DEFCON level 2 control-tops.
I then remember that it took me a full three years to get into passable shape the last time I started ballet. While I enjoyed the process, I was 25. My hips were 25. My knees were 25. All the bones in my feet were 25. It will be enormously embarrassing if one or all of the above suddenly seize up in the middle of a plie.
I also know that I have to find an instructor who will not take it personally when I simply stop mid-exercise, until the wheezing lets up.
Should I join a class, I will be starting at a serious pre-entry level.
I wonder if I can even get my body to do what those cute little 5-year-olds do without batting an eyelash.
I just know they are going to be very puzzled that this creaky old woman is suddenly in the middle of their dance of the bumblebee. There’s going to be plenty of sotto voce giggles and snorts while I try to get my leg up on the barre.
I’m looking for an adult class, but for some reason they are held rather late in the evening. I used to take those classes, but now I am curled up in bed reading a novel by 8 every night. And even if I went for it, I can’t exercise after eating, and I’d be falling-down famished by 7 p.m., in addition to just falling down.
But I recall with such joy making my body do graceful things to lovely music and the next thing I knew, I’d be sweating like a marathon runner and an hour had flown by. That’s exercise I can stick with. Don’t ask me to jog or walk. Don’t ask me to do an exercise circuit or even dance aerobics. None of them adequately distract me from the inevitable pain in my lungs and elsewhere.
I’m still tempted to jete on over to a class, if I could just remain anonymous. Maybe I’ll wear the tights on my head.


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