Guest Post: Jealousy & Ballet

beachI adore my intermediate adult ballet class.  Days before I’m already daydreaming about the music and the rush I know I’ll experience from feeling my body struggle to provide the physical strength and mental concentration dance demands.

When we get a newcomer, a pattern usually emerges.  Things don’t flow for a while.  It takes them time to coordinate mind and body again.  Maybe it was because I had a knee injury and was away for a few months that it came as such a shock to me.  I mean, I should have been glad just to return to class, and I was, but it’s so tough to see what you so desperately want, right in front of you.  And newcomer really did pick the barre space right in front of me.

In the weeks I was gone, it all clicked for her.   I had to admit — she looked amazing.  My rational mind said she probably worked very hard to look like that, but, in reality, it was much easier to think, “Why can’t I look like that?”  Anger and disappointment soon followed — I was jealous!  Jealous and disappointed in myself for feeling so.   Weeks passed and although I’d lost some ground from my injury, I focused on things I hadn’t lost.   One day after class, this newcomer, whose name is Stacey, shared that she had been an apprentice with a modern dance company for a few years.   I admit — it was music to my ears.

Ballet is about pushing yourself.  Personally, it’s also about surprising myself.  Divine little moments where things go surprisingly right.   The beautiful realization that my joy, perseverance and fulfillment come from these magical moments.   That’s so powerful and I’d be a fool to let someone else’s beautiful lines or turnout take that away.

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