I started taking ballet class when I was seven years old. It was a light hearted, fun way to spend an afternoon or two. Somewhere around the age of ten, I decided that I wanted to be a professional ballet dancer. At twelve I began to take pointe class, and began to take class every day. By the age of fourteen, I was taking two and three classes a day, rehearsing for hours on the weekend and my entire life revolved around the dance studio.
My feet were a wreck, my time at home non existent, and I lived in leotards and tights. I had more of a relationship with my dance teacher than just about anyone else in my life. I was really happy. I would dream for hours about the future. I'd get out of high school, move to New York City and dance with one of the big ballet companies. I'd be a member of the corps de ballet, then a soloist and then a principal dancer - and I'd be famous.
I forgot to take into account the body type with which I have been blessed. Ballet dancers are tall, thin, almost skeletal. They have no curves, no fluff, and most especially no breasts. I come from a family well endowed with both upper and lower padding. It was never in the cards for me to have a ballet dancer type body, not even if I starved myself. No matter how many master classes or auditions I attended, I heard the same advice - lose some weight. Never mind that my it was my body type to have curves - there was no way I'd ever realize my dream of being a professional ballet dancer.
When I finally realized this, I was devastated.
These days, I still love to dance, but I'm more often found on the dance floor with my favorite band or in a Zumba class - both areas in which no one cares that I have curves and padding. I dance all around my house on a daily basis and have dance offs on the Wii with my kids. I would love to go back to a ballet class, I still practice the turns and steps in the privacy of my house - but I think that my ballet dancing days are long gone.
That's not to say that I'm not happy in my life - on the contrary, if I'd become that ballet dancer I'd planned to be so long ago, I would have never met my husband or had my children. I'd be living a much different life. I don't regret the choices I made - I'm happy with who I've become.
you back in middle school? In high school? Are you where you thought you'd be? What were the kinds of things that mattered to you? Do you find that they've changed?