Welcome Acacia–our latest adult ballet student feature this month…and stay tuned as we feature more content on that theme throughout the month of March!
1. How did you first get involved with ballet and what attracted you to it as an adult?
When I was six years old I started taking ballet classes in a tiny studio over a pizza parlor on the corner of Sunset and Vine in Los Angeles. I loved dancing, but after a few years, it became clear that I would never have the body of a ballerina and ballet faded from my life. Fast forward thirty years later, I finished my treatments for breast cancer and started thinking about what I could do to get my strength back and ballet lept to mind. I always loved the grace and power of dancers and decided to try to bring some of that back into my life.
2. How many classes are you currently taking per week?
I usually take two classes a week. I’m limited since very few classes are offered here in Peoria, and since I’m back in cancer treatment I can’t always get to class.
3. What do you see as your biggest challenge as an adult ballet student?
The mirror. No, wait, the slim little ballerinas running around the studio. No, it’s the mental disconnect between what I think I can do and what my body can actually pull off. Or figuring out what a plus-sized ballet student can wear other than yoga pants and a t-shirt…
Actually, the biggest challenge was walking into the studio for my first class.
4. What brings you the greatest joy as an adult ballet student?
Getting to the point in class where nothing else matters, not the mirror or anything else. I leave every class feeling light, graceful and happy with what my body could do. I find myself getting up on my toes at home, waiting in line, even at work for days after a class.
5. Do you have any advice for other adult ballet students?
If you want to dance, dance. Adult classes are really adaptable for wherever you are when you start, and once you show up for the first one, it’s easy.
BIO: Acacia has been a beginning ballet student for one year and writes about her experiences at her blog The Melancholy Swan (melancholyswan.com.) She is also an art historian, seeker of tenure, lover of books, writer, melancholic, and is living with metastatic breast cancer.