Friday, March 26, 2010

92nd Edition of COG A Ballerina's Story ... If Only for a Little While

The 92nd edition of the COG will be: Dance! Did you take dance lessons as a child? Did your parents go out dancing every Friday at the Elks Hall? Do you enjoy taking in a good ballet at the theater? Care to share a memory from your high school prom? What role does dancing play in your family history? Come on, let's cut a rug!

What a wonderful topic:  Dance.  After reading the challenge for this COG,  I couldn't stop thinking about my childhood dancing, so here is my story.

I started dance lessons when I was 10 years old. I don’t remember why; whether I asked for lessons or my mother thought it would be a good activity. I know I was extremely active, running and jumping all the time; cartwheels and somersaults in the front yard; using the bed as a trampoline; so maybe she hoped it would be a good way to expend more energy. Whatever the reason, it was love at first lesson for me. I started with jazz and then added ballet and tap. When I was old enough, and that couldn’t come soon enough, I was able to start pointe, every little ballerina’s dream. I still have my last toe shoes tucked away in a box. I still will start tapping for no reason in the kitchen. There are some aspects of those years of dance I don’t recall, but the purchase of those first toe shoes, that memory will stay with me forever. The first lesson in pointe; getting ready, putting on those toe shoes, I’ll remember that always. The lamb’s wool had to be placed just so on the toes, then the shoes put on and the laces laced just right. Then there was the sound of the new shoes hitting the floor and finally the pain at the end of the lesson. But oh what a feeling, to be a ballerina.

For the next five years I lived the life of a young dancer. There were lessons and Saturday practices for recitals. There were more lessons and fatigue and sore muscles. There was great joy in dancing for the folks at the local retirement homes. There were bleeding toes and more sore muscles and I can’t remember a time I had more fun. I still remember Phil Phillips, the young man who was the premiere male dancer and Barbara, the premiere female dancer. I still remember Mr. Jack Tygett and his wife Marge Tygett, the dance instructors. I remember the small little studio in a neighborhood mall; I remember the little dressing room off the studio; the camaraderie of my fellow students; the music. Oh and the joy of  twirling across the floor doing three step turns or flying through the air doing the grande jete leaps.

Then came change as it always does, with my family moving to another city, one too far away for me to continue dancing with the Tygett School of Dance. There was no dance studio close by and as I entered a new school and made new friends, dancing became a part of my past but those years gave me an appreciation for music and dance and provided confidence for a shy young girl.

9 comments:

Joan said...

Loved your story. I never got to dance on pointe, but I loved ballet lessons, and to this day I will travel hundreds of miles from my mountain home to see good dance. Thanks for sharing those memories.

Jo said...

Joan, thanks for stopping and reading.

Jessica said...

What a cool memory. I have always secretly wanted to dance, it must have been a gene passed down from you. Its amazing how fondly we can look back on discipline, and pain, because the payoffs are beyond words description. Thank you for sharing this memory.

J.M. said...

What a great memory. Thank you for sharing.

Carol said...

Very nice, are those your shoes?? Lovely photo, enjoyed reading your memories.

Jo said...

Yes, those are my last pair of toe shoes. Thanks for stopping by.

Michelle Goodrum said...

What a warm story and I love the toe shoes.

hummer said...

Loved the picture of the toe shoes. I was always in awe of ballet.
Great memories.
I have given you the Ancestor Approved Award. If you will drop by my blog Branching Out Through the Years, you can pick up the badge and the rules.
Hugz

lindalee said...

How cool that you still have your toe shoes. I had mine for years, but have no idea what happened to them. Enjoyed your story.