Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ballet and Old Friends

Recently I have returned to dancing. It was my passion in my teens and early 20's. But then my life took a different path. I continued taking class over the years, and finally stopped all together, life and ankle injuries taking their toll. It was frustrating because, even though I am in my 50's, I still love ballet; it is still the only form of exercise that I truly enjoy. It is more than exercise to me. It is in its own realm.

About a month ago, I had a vivid dream about one of my old ballet buddies. You see, back in the early 80's in Chicago, I had two best ballet buddies. We danced together, had fun together, and were rather crazy together. We have kept in touch sporadically over the years. So I dreamt about Carmen, and just had to call her. We had seen each other the previous summer, where we compared ankle injuries and talked about going back to ballet. It just so happened that a short while before this phone call, she had return to a nearby ballet studio, and encouraged me to do the same. I felt apprehensive because I am really out of shape; quite tubby, in fact, for a ballerina! But I committed to returning, after getting Carmen to promise she would not watch me in class until I was better! It was so nice to be back in the studio with an old friend - older bodies still remembering the joy of dance, and a nice lunch after one class, where we talked for a long time.

Right around this time, my other ballet buddy, Ruta, found me on Facebook. We began talking and catching up a bit. Then, she came back to Chicago. We went out to dinner last night, and shared what we've been up to during the 20 years or so since we last saw each other. Ruta has also kept up with dance, to a very high level.

The three of us have all been through many changes and trials, some of the trials tremendously worse than others. But three things remained constant: I absolutely love these two friends, we have a blast together, and we all love dance.

Ruta has given me a challenge: to go this summer together to Birute Barodicaite's ballet class (she was one of our teachers back in the day). So, I have a lot of work to do to be in shape for this class! The thought of the three of us dancing and laughing together again is such an inspiring, happy thought.


Kathryn said...

I loved this post Celeste - you inspire me to try and find an adult ballet class, it has always been something I want to do!

Natalie L. said...

That is so neat! I used to dance ballet throughout my school years, and miss it very much. I hope you have lot's of fun this summer!