This story could be about the Maiden, but it isn’t.
Because that little girl lived in the mid-1980s. In a small town where there was no dance studio, in a town where ballerina dreams fluttered only across the starlit pillows of little girls deep in dreamland. Real life was gymnastics, and softball, and writing, and literature, and publishing. And with time the dream faded away, deep into the yellowing pages of memory.
Faded, but not forgotten.
Almost thirty years passed. There was a new little girl who wanted to be a beautiful ballerina. She twinkled. She twirled. She dreamed of fluffy tutus and wrapped shoes and feet all en pointe.
And as her mother sat in the studio, watching the pink leotards and little girl ponytails swish around the room, something awoke within her.
Because beneath all the layers of life, down past motherhood and womanhood and teenagehood and even childhood there was still that five-year-old girl who twinkled and twirled and wanted to grow up to be a beautiful ballerina.
So the mother bought tights. She bought ballet shoes. She bought dance clothes. And although she was terrified, although she didn’t know what she was doing, there was a thrill in the air. For the feet that would walk through that studio door would be those of the long-ago girl.
She danced. And the hearts of both girl and woman were happy.
As I come to the close of my second year of ballet, I’m nostalgic and happy and a little sad, too, because soon I’ll be leaving the area and the dance school that started it all. It has been an amazing ride.
There have been good classes, days on which I feel like I’m soaring. There have been others where I can’t seem to put one foot in front of the other. I know I’ll never be a principal dancer with the Moscow Ballet or headline a performance. I still can’t even do a pirouette properly.
But I have never, ever regretted walking into that classroom as an adult beginner. And I can’t wait to continue the journey in our new city this fall.
Is there a childhood dream that you’ve put aside? The summer can be a wonderful time to break out the paintbrushes or dust off the dancing shoes and discover a side of yourself you may never have met–or that you may have forgotten about. Whether you want to learn ballet or cake decorating or Java programming, there are nighttime or weekend classes, distance courses, and even instructional videos and webinars to help you pursue your secret passion.
It’s never easy to break out of your norm, to conquer your fears and try something very, very new. But sometimes the heart cries out for more–and the feet must follow. If you reach into yourself and allow your inner child to guide you toward your dreams, there’s no end to the possibilities you may discover.
Come join in the dance.
Photo courtesy of Wish Upon a Ballet.