Sunday, April 30, 2006
I signed up for a contemporary dance class a whole three months in advance.
I had been meaning to go there ever since the dance school opened er, three years ago. But as each term approached I tried to sign up in my usual spontaneous - one day before it starts manner, only to be told it was all booked up. Each time I was outraged, but secretly knew that I am a lazy, procrastinating, in denial slouch who really had no intention of going. I would drive past the dance centre - a beautiful, gleaming reflective box designed by architects Herzog & de Meuron (who designed Tate Modern).
Next time, I'd tell myself. Hence the uncharacteristic booking of anything in advance.
So I (and Z who I'd roped into the class as well,) had an entire three months for the panic to rise and for the fear and apprehension to fester. A whole three months in which to realise that unless pushed, I will choose to sit on my arse and do nothing. There was an upside to this.
Whilst lounging around eating cupcakes I could say to myself "it doesn't matter, I start my dance class soon."
By the time the week leading up to the start of the term arrived we engaged in frantic texting along the lines of "what are we supposed to wear?" "Will they hand us a long ribbon upon entering and make us interpret how it feels to be a tree?" and "What is contemporary dance anyway?" We hoped there would be no mirrors. We knew we would look stupid. We thought at least we can laugh at each other.
Outfit wise, I was dreaming of a kind of Lisa Bonet Cosby show era look, with a hint of Fame. Thankfully I decided to play it safe the first week and wear old tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt. So did everyone else.
The class was fun, there were no mirrors. The studio was beautiful, the atmosphere relaxed and friendly. Everyone was smirking shyly at each other when we had to do partner work, but it broke the ice.
The only thing was; as I sat on a bench in the hallway before the class began I was transfixed by the sight of the ballet class about to begin next door. It was obviously the advanced class, they were all teetering around on point. But the shoes, the pale pink tights - ok it was really the clothes I was transfixed by. But also the graceful way they moved, even when sprawled around by the lockers doing their shoes up. They looked like swans. And I was transported back to my five year old self who gave up ballet like she gave up The Brownies and Sunday School, and everything else. In my head a tiny voice said "I want to be a ballerina too."