Tuesday, November 15, 2011

101 in 1001 #29

As a kid, I was never particularly interested in dance or gymnastics. Mostly because I could barely manage a somersault, let alone a handstand or the splits. It was convenient, because with moving all the time, trying to get a dance teacher to understand where I'd been up to in a class on the other side of the world would have been rather complicated. But I *do* remember being insanely jealous when my best friend at primary school in England did dance classes one day a week instead of the compulsory hour and a half of hockey/netball/tennis/cross country/rounders/swimming/insert other sport here that we had to do on a daily basis. I think it was mostly because she got to wear these:

THEY HAD HEELS. This is disturbingly exciting and envy-creating when you're ten. And then not long before we left England, we went to see 42nd Street on stage. And that was it - I was sold on tap.

I did tap for six years once we moved back to Australia. For most of that time, the class after mine was a neoclassical ballet class. The more I saw them swirling about in floaty skirts, the more I wanted to do the same. And then, one fateful day in 2007, Em phoned me to say that she was taking up adult ballet classes, and did I want to come with her.

HELLS TO THE YES. For three days after my first class, I walked like a duck because my thighs hurt so much from plies. But it was worth it.

And then I moved to Canberra in 2008. Sure, there were adult ballet classes in Canberra. But they were all stupidly expensive (for a poor starving post-grad student, anyway!) or on the other side of town or down long isolated back roads between 8pm and 9.30pm. No, thank you. So when I decided that I was going to move back to Melbourne, I immediately put 'go back to ballet classes' on my 101 in 1001 list.

I rang my old ballet school when I got back from the US. The principal was thrilled to hear from me, and four weeks later my toes still cramp like a bastard in class every week. But I love it and it's totally worth every pain in my metatarsals. Except for one small problem - the school has a new studio, which has mirrors all down one wall. Which means I can see how I really look. DO NOT LIKE.

How I look in my head:

How I REALLY look: A cross between this...
(Lauren, that was especially for you!!) and this:

But that's okay. Because I know I've only been back at it a couple of weeks. And hopefully in a couple of months, I'll look less like Conan/a baby hippo and more like I actually know what I'm doing. And maybe THEN my ballet teacher will be able to stop saying "Kirsti, don't look so WORRIED!!" every five minutes during class!

K xx

PS. No, I don't have pointe shoes. And no, I don't have to wear tights and a leotard. Thank God for both of those things.


  1. What's the atmosphere in your ballet class like? I wanted to sign up as well, but I ended up doing Hilal dancing, and then I did a term of pole dancing...thinking about giving ballet a shot. Though walking up Black Mountain has been doing my body in!

  2. That sounds like fun. I really miss dancing!

  3. I'm totally jealous of #29 because I've always wanted to take an adult ballet class!!! I will look into this and report back.

    Or I could move to Melbourne and take one with you? ;)

    Miss your face mas,

  4. I'm really jealous. I took ballet for like MAYBE a year when I was 5. But when you're really short, break easily, and you have braces on your legs and a walker... ballet really isn't the best choice. LOL. It would be fun to try some dancing again though because I love musicals so much - especially since I no longer use the braces and walker.

  5. @Vanisha - there's the odd girl who thinks she's all that (they're usually not), but by and large, we all just want to have a bit of fun! One of the places I found in Canberra was in Turner, from memory!
    @Kathy - you should go back!!
    @Emmy - yeah, ballet would definitely be tricky with braces on! You should definitely look into doing some dancing again :)

  6. Conan in Jeggings was THE WORST! But is a funny gif.


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