Ballet Workout Number 11

Ooof, it’s been a while and I feel it. One thing I noticed, seemingly nonchalant enquiries from my classmates about whether anyone knows which trainer we’re getting today are on the rise. Depending on the answer, people either stand gently stretching or attempt to coax out their inner pretzel princess.

Me, I just breathe through my nose and try to center myself and stuff like that. I am, after all, as mentioned many times, on a separate path.

But I had no idea just how separate. “When you stand at the front and do things wrong, out of sync (ouch), everyone behind you follows you.” – “I can stand in the back” (hopeful tone of voice misinterpreted as annoyed diva behaviour) – “No, you don’t have to.” Until now, occupied with the sole dedication to my own craft, I didn’t consider the responsibility resting on my shoulders.

I also thought everyone knew I was standing in front mainly because I’m nearsighted, the trainer doesn’t let me stand in the back and actually I try to sync my movements with those standing behind me. Pick a person and stare at them in the mirror! Not creepy at all!

“What you are doing is not ballet! This is ballet! This is not ballet!” I appreciate her commitment, but my butt seems to have a mind of its own, and the same looks to be true for the rest of the class. But hey, ballet butts, here we come!

I sweat my way through the fast-paced tendus I have come to know and love – front, back; side, back; behind, back; side, back; change to left foot, add arms! No arms for me, hands on hips, I’m on serious sweat patrol and concentrating on my feet. There is only so much multitasking a diva-in-training can do.

We lower ourselves in to the deepest of pliés – mine stops about a foot above the floor. Hands on thighs, we raise ourselves on tiptoe from that position and I promptly sway forward like Humpty Dumpty, thankfully avoiding the great fall. The next task is to raise ourselves and straighten our legs while still on tiptoe. Sorry, but no. My whole foot goes down, and I straighten up, only to meet the stern gaze of our trainer. “No”, she says, shaking her head at me and pointing at my feet. I shake my head too to keep her company. Boy, she must love me.

As the workout ends my ballet butt and I hobble out of the room before she can make us stay for the stretch class immediately after. It’s not like I want to hog the limelight.



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