I've never done a traditional workout in a gym. If you plopped me down in a gym I'd look around and have no idea what to do. I'd probably walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes and call it good, but I don't really count that as a workout. To me, a workout is a ballet class. I started taking ballet classes when I was five years old and continued all throughout high school and college. And now as an adult I still love to take a ballet class. I love how a good ballet class isn't just about movement and getting a sweat, it's also so mental. It's a place where I can truly stop thinking about anything outside of the dance studio, I don't worry about if my baby is napping, what's for dinner, I'm totally focused on my body. I'm thinking about the combination and where my legs and arms are going. I'm thinking about the music and the counts. I'm thinking about my muscles, is my center tight, my tail tucked under, my knees pulled up? Am I turning out from my hips, beveling my feet? Am I using the floor? Even when I'm taking an "easy" class it just means more time to focus on my body, my technique, and it can still be a really good class. But I love a good advanced class, a class that makes me think about the combination, that pushes me to try for a double instead of a clean single pirouette.
It's been a long time since I've taken a ballet class. I think the last class I took was about the same time I met Shawn, so three years. But in January when the UVU Community Classes catalog came and I saw an Intermediate Adult Class listed I knew I had to take it! I knew that it was what I needed both mentally and physically, a good ballet class.
Taking ballet again has made me so appreciative of my ballet training. I'm grateful for the big, beautiful studio where I learned to dance. I'm grateful for the sprung wooden floors. Most of all I'm grateful for the instruction. I had two wonderful and very different ballet teachers. Stacey was straightforward with her instruction. She was clear and precise. And after taking ballet from her for around a decade I could just about predict what she was going to say next, but that's not to say her classes were every boring. Julie was completely different. She was brillant, challenging, and might just change the exercise in the middle of a combination. You might not do the same exercise on both sides, but her choreography was amazing and it always made me feel beautiful. When Stacey and Julie worked together they brought out the best in us. Stacey would clarify any confusion in Julie's instruction, and Julie would find the step, the movement that didn't feel quite right and fix it. I loved dancing for them.
I'm grateful now for such quality training. I'm grateful for those years and that working with two teachers who were so different made it easy to understand new teachers I'm not familiar with. I'm grateful that I can pick up combinations easily, that though I may not have the technique, that my extension is gone, and my flexibility is laughable, I remember the steps, the names, the moves, and I can still do it. It might not be pretty, but I can still do it.