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rue-madame's Diaryland Diary

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dance, dance, DANCE

“An American in Paris” was fantastic. As usual.

I love musicals to death but they always make me feel a little sad, a little wistful that I am not a dancer.

And now, a little analysis. . .

A long time ago, I was a very dedicated and serious dance (mostly ballet) student when 2 ankle injuries sidelined me. I begged my parents to send me to a podiatrist/dance specialist (the one recommended by my ballet teacher, a doctor who treated SFB and ABT dancers,) but they refused, sending me instead to the family podiatrist who did a good job patching up the ankle, but did nothing for my spirits. During my appointments with this doctor, he would talk to me about his RANCH and his HORSES. Imagine how it made me feel to know that the man touching my foot and ankle spent his free time shoeing horses and being a cowboy. And to make matters worse, there were no physical therapy sessions, nothing to help me build back strength and flexibility. Just a dumb soft cast that evolved into a crisscross of white tape and a velcro moon shoe, along with a stern warning about not “going up on your toes.” I was completely demoralized.

It was around this time that I realized my parents were not interested in my being any kind of dancer, ballet or otherwise. Sensing this, I did what any normal teenager would do, and that is to rebel and crank up the mischief (I cut my hair so that it was too short to put in a bun (self-loathing much?), there were parties, more drinking, more drugs, more sex. . .) I was totally unfocused and overwhelmed at school, excelling in art and recess instead. Somehow, I made it into Berkeley. To this day, it astonishes me.

Anyway, in my twenties, I started figuring some shit out and slowly started taking dance classes again. They made me feel sane, healthy and normal. Now, I’m a doddering old woman, and I have not taken a dance class in probably 7 years. I can imagine standing at a barre, but if I try to visualize my reflection in the mirror, my mind goes soft-focus (which is probably a good thing. Mirrors are unforgiving when all you’ve got on is a leotard and tights.)

I do yoga these days. It’s great for stretching and breathing but I confess to not “getting” the peace of mind part that so many people talk about. If anything, yoga makes me feel really aggro. I mentioned this to one of the yoga teachers, thinking that maybe the anger was related to frustration at not being able to do certain postures or something fairly obvious like that. I should have known better. She explained my mood post-practice by citing chakras, negative chi or some other kind of mumbo jumbo. I guess it’s a testament to my newfound maturity that I just smiled and nodded my head.

5:40 p.m. - 2001-08-06

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