Ciao to my favorite diary! Ya know, often times people ask me why in the world I put myself through the torture of pointe shoes and why I pack my schedule with endless late night rehearsals. No, I am not going to be a professional ballerina, but yes I love it.
We recently finished performing Swan Lake, and boy it was one for the books. This extremely beautiful and fun ballet to dance, was masked with the intense pain of infected toenails. As I lay here, elevating my feet on doctor’s orders, I would do anything to cry through that show one more time. It’s something that only a ballerina would understand, but I believe that this is the perfect definition of a love/hate relationship.
I love late night rehearsals when you can hardly stand any longer. I love taping my feet until they can’t even fit in my shoes. I love speeding straight from school to ballet. I love being stressed over a cast list. I love class at 8am before a school show. I love stressing out over which is the perfect pair of pointe shoes for a performance. I love having to force myself to go on stage when it feels impossible. I love having no choice but to smile through the pain.
Ok, I know what you’re thinking… I must be crazy, right? I guarantee you that if you asked any ballerina they would be in agreement, whether they even realize it or not. First of all, its absolutely impossible to do this whole thing called ballet if you don’t love it with your whole heart. No, I will not be dancing for the rest of my life, but for right now I am and I love it for what it means to me at the moment. As a little girl, it was putting on tutus and twirling around in the living room. As I grew older, it became a more serious part of my life and I thought that it was the only thing I ever wanted to do. Today, I realize that ballet is not my entire world, but it is one of my passions and I choose to apply myself to the fullest until the day I retire those satin shoes. One thing I always tell the little girls I teach is “It’s not how you begin, or what happens in the middle of that pirouette, its how you finish that matters.” Whether that day is tomorrow or years from now, I am excited for the rest of this journey.
The common things that you hear are “Ballet teaches discipline,” or “Ballet makes you so graceful.” Yeah, those are true alright, but it is impossible to explain the way this art form shapes your life, especially if you are not even close to being a professional. Whether I am standing at the front of the room going by my most favorite name, “Miss Riley,” or standing at the barre doing tendus, every component of this ballet world always holds something special. It’s hard to imagine my life without ballet, but the comforting thing is that I dont have to. The precious moments in those satin shoes (even the ones that involved crying on stage), will be in my heart forever.