At the Ballet
I have always had a connection with Ballet. It started with my Grandma taking me to the Nutcracker when I was five. I really didn’t understand it, and I kept asking her when they would start talking, but I still found it all magical. At that age, it was more the costumes and the beautiful Prima Ballerina, but I was still hooked.
I was in gymnastics at the Park and Recreation Department at the time, but as soon as I got home from my trip to the Ballet, I insisted on dance class. For a few years, it was just Jazz and Tap that was offered. I think my parents wanted to see if it was something I would stick with. I loved to dance, so they finally signed me up for what I had been waiting for, Ballet class. I took class at the studio connected with our local Ballet company, and got to see the company dancers rehearsing. I even got to perform as a Ballerina in the Nutcracker. OK. Maybe, I wasn’t a Ballerina, just a Pierrot (French Clown) or Battle Mouse, but I was up on that stage.
While most kids love just goofing around or dancing to Pop music, I loved the structure of Ballet. For 45 minutes, I was transported to a world of strange words, new rules, and beautiful music. I didn’t have time to think of anything but what my body was doing, how it was moving, and making each step as perfect as I could.
Move the Body and Quiet the Mind
I guess this is where I should mention that I’ve always suffered from Anxiety. Of course, when I was younger, I didn’t know what it was or that it had a name, but it plagued me all the same. I would find myself worrying about everything and nothing at all. My mind was constantly going, I had stomach problems, and I never slept through the night. Ballet was an escape from all that worry, even if it was only for a few hours a week.
When I finally found out there was a name for my constant worry, I was in college. I started therapy and medication, and my Anxiety improved. I did not, however, give up dancing. By this time, Ballet was a part of me. It made me feel beautiful and graceful. It helped my concentration, kept my body in shape, and still allowed me to escape from the stress of my life.
Then, for the first time in my life, I took a break from Ballet. I got busy being an adult. I started working full-time in the corporate world. I got engaged. I planned a wedding, I got married, and I had babies. Through all of it, my Anxiety was still there, though it was dulled by medication.
I am a Ballerina
Now, here I am. My twins have turned 3-years-old, and I’ve started dancing again. I take an adult Ballet class at a local studio, and I’m finally feeling more like myself than I have in years. Even though I do not have a dancer’s body anymore, and even though I’m not quite as flexible as I once was, I still remember most of the steps. I may never be a Ballerina, but that’s OK. That one hour in the dance studio gives me such joy, I almost can’t describe it. I just feel somehow lighter, and just better. Ballet still has the power to shut off that part of my brain that worries about every little thing.
For one hour a week, I don’t have to make decisions. There are no children begging for my attention, no cleaning of the house, and no polite conversation. I just follow the rules, and let my body move through space. Ballet truly gets me out of my head and into a better place. Ballet allows me another escape from my Anxiety, and that is something that makes me better for everyone and everything in my life.
Yay! Oh how much fun you must be having. That is awesome! I have really bad anxiety & I run, I think that helps me. I think it’s awesome you’ve gotten the chance to start something you love again!
Amanda @ Green Tea + Cotton says
Love it! I, too, wanted to be a ballerina. You will actually find me throughout the day doing plie’s and arabesques while cooking or cleaning. It is so ingrained in me that I can’t imagine not being able to move like that. It really does transport one to a different time and all the cares can go to the side for a moment!
Exactly. So funny you say that about doing Plie’s and Arabesques, because I often find myself doing that too 🙂
Good for you for taking that time for yourself to do something that you are really passionate about and enjoy!
Kimberly Cox says
Loved reading this. I was never a “dancer” and would rather sing ANY day, but it is awesome to see people enjoying passions they love. Taking time for ourselves is important, and I’m glad you are getting to continue on that which you are passionate about <3
beautiful post! I took tap and jazz growing up, but if I could go back ballet would definitely be my first pick. It is such a beautiful form of dancing and while I have never actually done it, I imagine it has many benefits.
Clothes & Quotes
nice post 🙂
Christine Cox says
Isn’t having that 1 hour so precious? I go to yoga Tuesday/Thursday evenings for an hour and it is the BEST hour ever. I wish I could go to the morning class because I am always so rejuvenated after class, but I take what I can get! You go girl for being a ballerina again!
🙂 Thank you Christine. I totally wish Ballet was in the morning too.
Congratulations on starting to dance again! It is inspiring to hear of you going back to your passions!
Allison Jones says
I think it’s so awesome that you’ve gotten back to ballet! It’s great that you have “me-time” every week and do something that you really love.
Sara Strand says
I am hoping Matt’s schedule frees up so I can go to a weekly zumba class again. I really enjoyed going before I had Penelope and it was an hour of me being a sweaty mess but it was something, I’ll take it.
First of all, you are beautiful! Second of all, good for you for taking a class and doing something you love! It’s great to see that you never gave up on a past love of yours 🙂
Awe. Thank you. 🙂
I love that! Good for you! Everyone needs to do that one thing that makes them feel alive 🙂 Very impressive pose by the way 🙂
🙂 Thank you.
Heather with WELLFITandFED says
This is so great. I love anything that pulls our head out of our butts right. Plugs us back into remembering that we are flesh connected to brain not a brain running way up ahead, turning and saying “hurry up!!” Way to slow down girl. 🙂
My Urban Family says
I love everything about this post. This is how I feel about tennis but life has gotten in the way recently. Good for you for going back and participating again!
Thank you so much. I hope you find your way back to Tennis soon 🙂
Dana Peller (@Pellerini) says
I am loving that you are taking ballet again!! It sounds like yoga does for me what ballet does for you 🙂 Keep it up!!
ballet is such a beautiful art and I think it’s wonderful you have a passion to really enjoy fully and escape into whenever you like ♥
Becky @ Disney in your Day says
That’s so awesome that you’re able to get back into ballet. I wish I had done it when I was younger but I wasn’t interested at the time. I am taking an adult tap class right now though!
Nice. I’m not very coordinated when it comes to tap. 🙂
what a beautiful story. I hope to take some dance classes in the future, when I have a car to get to one. Thank you for sharing about your anxiety.
Thank you so much.
Deb Wolf says
Good for you Shann. It’s good for you body, mind, and spirit. I love it! My parents took me to Swan Lake when I was little. I never became a dancer – studied keyboard instead, but oh it is beautiful! 🙂
Oh yes. Love Swan Lake!
Sierra Bailey says
I loved this post! Sometimes our dreams change, but there are still those things that make our hearts happy.
Exactly. Thanks Sierra.
Nicole C L says
It’s so great when you can find time for something you love among all of the things going on in the world. My soccer was “taken away” from me by my chronic knee pain and I find my anxiety starting to get worse at times. Do what makes you happy!. P.S. I love structure too, just ask my planner.
I’m sorry for your chronic knee pain and the fact that you don’t get to play soccer anymore. My back often threatens me. Hang in there.
Ballet is also great exercise! So glad you found a great way to feel better.
Sarah @ Foxy's Domestic Side says
That is so amazing! Love that picture of you doing your ballet moves. I’ve always wanted to take dance in general but never got the chance and now I have two left feet, haha. Working out is my release. For those 2 hours a week I don’t have to worry about anything/anyone but me and it’s glorious!
Totally. That’s exactly it.
I love this and this picture is adorable… We all have to find our escape to another world to relieve ourselves from our day to day occurrences. I’m so happy to hear you are back to doing something you love and that it helps with your anxiety.
You look beautiful in that post. Gotta say, hating you a bit right now. You look graceful and elegant and get an hour to yourself without kids?? THE DREAM! I always wanted to be a ballerina too, but in my first dance class my mean instructor made fun of me and I never went back. Please post more pics of you doing ballet I love this!
Oh no! I’m sorry you had a mean teacher. I had a few of those too. And thank you so much for the compliments. 🙂 An hour without the kids is the dream for sure 🙂
Wow are you standing on your toes??? Its funny because I was just wondering how the heck do ballerinas do that?????? And then I came across your post lol. Good for you though! It’s always great to take a little time for yourself!
Ha! No, not standing on my toes. My husband actually caught me in the air. I used to dance on my toes, though. They have special pointe shoes that have wood in the toes. 🙂
Stefanie (@LexieLooDylan2) says
I love that you do this! I think it’s so important for moms to pursue hobbies! XOXO
Thank you! 🙂
Katie @ Talk Less, Say More says
I used to dance when I was little – ballet, tap and jazz. I absolutely loved it but I was very shy so when my friends were done dancing, so was I. Sometimes I regret that because now I am the most awkward and uncomfortable dancer in front of people, but I also really enjoyed it then. Someday I may need to look for an adult class for beginners to try!
You should. They are really great, and any experience level is great. 🙂
OMG, I love this post so much and you look so incredibly beautiful and graceful as a ballerina 🙂 I suffer from anxiety, too, and it’s so incredibly wonderful to find that one THING that takes you away from all of it. I used to take ballet but I had much more of an affinity with modern dance. Thanks for being such an inspiration!!
I had never tried Modern Dance until college. There are some forms I absolutely love, but I’m not so good with Improv 🙂 Sorry to hear you suffer from anxiety too. I hope you have something that helps. If not, I’m always here to talk.
I love that picture of you! You look so happy! I’m glad you’re doing something just for you. That is so very important.
Dana Gore (@MrsDeeGee) says
Good for you that you’ve gotten back into this. I had wanted to be a ballerina (and tap dancer/ drummer, etc) when I was younger and never stuck with any one thing.
I have no doubt that this is a beautiful remedy for anxiety. It’s a form of well-being. I think it’s great – and best of luck with resuming your practice.
Thank you Dana!
Rachel Gault (@rachelgault) says
So fun! I’m not sure I’d be able to handle the foot pain from ballet, yikes! Love that you’ve found this as your little daily escape from life!
Rachel (@thedigger0) says
This post touches something in me. I have always loved watching ballet. It is so graceful and it always looks like the dancer has a smiled planted on her face whilst being off in some magical place in the mind. I use dancing in a lot of stories for preparation. It takes a dancer months of practice to show a performance on stage.
Anxiety – I have moments of it, but it is when my mind is playing on drama with me. I feel it in moments when I am thinking of things but as soon as the subject is over – so to is the feeling. But I have been seeing more and more people who say the suffer from it like you. I am glad you learnt about it and sorted help – knowledge is power. And if your dancing for an hour helps balance you – that keep it up. Oh and that photo you shared, just charming – pointed feet always have my attention. Thank you.
Thank you so much, Rachel. I truly appreciate your comments. Thank you! 🙂
Summer @ Coffee With Summer says
I can TOTALLY relate to this post, Shann! I love how beautifully you wrote this up…so honest and gracious. I never realized my struggle with anxiety that I had during middle school, until now in my early 20s. Dance is such an escape for me. I haven’t been dancing much, but as I’ll be instructing again soon, I’m sure it’ll help with my depression/anxiety. So glad you’re back dancing at a studio! Go you!
Thank you so much Summer. I remember you saying you were a dancer too. 🙂 I’m hoping to start teaching again soon as well.
Ananda Qianyu says
oh i danced in nutcracker too!! =) gelsey kirkland is my fave clara! =) you look beautiful!! keep dancing!
Nice! thank you!
My childhood dream was to be a ballerina for the NYCB – I still want to be a ballerina when I grow up!
Let’s start our own Ballet company 🙂
I love to dance and feel like all my worries have evaporated. Good for you that you find ballet so relaxing, and also get some me time.
That’s SO cool that you take ballet again! I wanted to be a ballerina when I grew up too! Maybe I should take classes again!!! <3
Yes! You totally should!
Clare Speer says
So sweet Shann! Thanks for sharing…. my oldest daughter did ballet, jazz and tap as a young girl but really shined in “tap”! She is a young adult now…. but I bet she takes adult tap classes again one day!
Good for you! I have been watching Dance Academy on netflix and I am all about the ballet in it! Ha! 😉
Stella Chiu (@stellachiu97) says
Glad you can go back to your love – dancing!
Your post open my eyes that dancing can be a mean to remove anxiety.
It is always nice to have some time for yourself that you have burden of daily life.
– Stella Chiu
I pretty much feel the same about my Karate practice
Neely (@Neelykins) says
I did ballet for 16 years and I miss it all the time!