For any of you who have dance experience, don’t look too closely — my form is terrible and I don’t know what I’m doing (yet! not yet!), but I can’t keep to myself how much joy beginning ballet as an adult has brought me. Once a week, for the past 6 months, I’ve been taking a class, a class full of other adult beginners who line up along the barre and try, smile, sometimes giggle, but always smile while we learn the basics.

I took ballet as a little girl, but that didn’t last long, as I decided that watching Pee Wee’s Playhouse on Saturday mornings with my brother and sister was much higher on my priority list (obviously) than working hard at this beautiful, graceful dance. As a high school student, I ran into my childhood ballet teacher and she tried to convince me to return, that it was never too late to come back, but I was in the thick of it with track, field hockey and a very busy orchestra schedule, and frankly, I didn’t believe her. There’s a part of being young and having the whole world ahead of you that brings out self-consciousness and trepidation. Confidence, the ability to do what you love and seize the day and risk looking silly, seems to come with age. It has for me.

But she was right. It’s never too late to start, or come back to something that calls to you. What sets us free is the realization that perfection or a professional career or fierce competition is not the goal. It’s the lack of pressure, the lack of body shaming, the lightness of it that brings me such happiness. My favorite part of the class is anything that involves jumping, leaping, or moving across the floor — the faster and higher, the better. And I convinced two of my girlfriends, Emily and Elisha, to join me for this session! So once a week, smack in the middle of the day, I put on a leotard and ballet slippers and spend just over an hour with women I admire and smile with, and mess up with, and have fun with. Do not look too closely, unless what you’re looking at is the smile. DSC_0022

7 thoughts on “Ballet”
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  1. Love this post! Your muscles look amazing! Nothing better than a strong woman! My adult hobbies are one of the things that have made me so connected to this wonderful city – so glad you have this too!

  2. Lauren, this is so amazing! What an inspiration you are. I’ve always wanted to learn to play the banjo but I sometimes feel so intimated. The day is getting closer though, I can feel it, it’s probably just more of logistics now, with littles, etc. BUT, you’ve reminded me what it’s really about, and why it’s so important to pursue the little things that bring us joy. I just love this! Also, your form is GREAT. 🙂 xo

  3. Oh, geez, thank you ladies! I almost took this post down because I’m a little squeamish about the pictures (we are always our own worst critics) but the whole point is that I love this class, it brings me joy, and who cares, right?!

  4. You really do have a natural dancer’s body and a beautiful form. I love that your family finds pursuits and joys and you go after and stick with them – its so passionate and inspiring! Much like Erin I have been talking about learning the harmonica for 20 years but it sounds so dorky and I’m sure to fail. The prospect of not having the skill for it is terrifying. That said, I’ve recently developed a passion for opera (the listening kind, NOT the signing) – opera? No kidding. Who knew? Which goes to show that passions and discoveries and pursuits are what brings us purpose, connect us and keep us young. More posts like this!!

  5. Great post Lauren!! I agree with the ladies above, you are an inspiration! My youngest (out of 3 as well) is starting school this Fall and as bittersweet as it will be, I am greatly looking forward to pursuing hobbies/interests that I’ve set aside while raising kids. I’ll be taking some art classes at a local university and am hoping to take some jewelry making workshops (not the beading-at-Michael’s kind but more along the lines of lost-wax casting ;). My secret wish is to someday take cello lessons–ha! I took violin during my adolescence and while I enjoyed it, I’d always loved the sound of the cello more.

  6. I’m with Kay. I really want to take music lessons again. I was so good at the piano, and played until I went away to college. So maybe piano lessons again, but I’m also thinking I’d love to try the violin. Both girls play, and I might just pick up where they leave off one day.

    I think it’s wonderful to take up new things, always. I felt like such a dork when I started running, but now I think nothing about it. Maybe I still look like a dork, but I don’t care because I love the way it makes me feel.

    We’re really busy this year with a big house project, but I already know one of my goals / resolutions for next year – I’m going to take a class with my oldest daughter (She’ll be in 8th grade) – and hopefully continue that til she leaves and then pick up with the one that’s six years younger. E and I talked about taking a figure drawing class together, so that might be first up. Then maybe a creative writing class, or photography. Who knows? Maybe ballet! 😉

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