I wasn’t made for this

I wasn’t made for this

My conspicuous absence this week has been for two very good reasons: firstly, I was on a ballet course that took up all my time and also my energy, and secondly, I’m ill.

You know that saying, “starve a fever, feed a cold?” That’s stupid. I have a fever and a cold. What do they expect me to do about that, then,  eh? *growls*

In fact, I was ill to the point of having to miss the last day of aforementioned ballet course, and spending the penultimate day watching instead of dancing, while wearing an enormous hoodie in rooms where everyone else was sweltering in t-shirts and shorts. Like I said, I have a fever. But I’m not dead. I’m still here.

I don’t think I’m built for ballet.

There are the obvious things, like my body. I’m short (5 foot 3 and a half). Actually, sitting down I’m taller than my five-foot-eleven friend, but standing up I look like a midget. Because I have short legs. Not exactly what you want for ballet. Then there’s the fact that I’m not a stick-thin flat-chested uber-flexible freak like a lot of people who do ballet. Until recently I couldn’t even touch my toes. I can barely reach them now. I’m not flexible, okay?

Oh, and I have short hair, which is something that’s slowly changing, but on this course – everybody else had a bun.Everyone. And then there’s me with a bob that I had to keep clipping back to stop it getting in my eyes. Even my hair is conspiring against me!

And how about my joint problems? I did ballet as a kid but left before I turned eleven because I kept dislocating my kneecaps. Not exactly a great start. We believe I have what’s known as hypermobility syndrome – my joints are all a bit loose, leading to easy dislocation and bad spatial awareness etc. Sounds like me.

Finally, there’s my memory. I am terrible at picking up choreography, and especially at remembering what my arms are supposed to be doing. Hey, let me off for that – I’m a recovering Irish dancer. It’s taken me a year and a half to work out that I have arms.

So I’m not built for ballet. It’s sucky. I can’t help feeling that it was a bit of a mean trick of God to give me this urge to dance and then not equip me with the body to do it. You know, some people watch dancers and feel the need, instantly, to get up and do the same. I don’t. I think, “I wish I could do that,” but not, “I have to do that now.”

But I hear a piece of music and I start choreographing to it. Instantly.

While I was on this course we had a 90-minute ballet class to start the day, with different exercises and different music (live pianist) every day. On Wednesday or possibly Thursday (I have a bad memory), our teacher went through an exercise that was formed almost entirely out of steps I have never done before.

Normally I’ve done about half of them so I can get a lock on those and then fudge the rest, but I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. The exercise was completely and utterly unfamiliar. I was panicking.

And then the pianist started playing and the piece he played had unfamiliar rhythms but the melody was very clearly “When You Believe” from the Prince of Egypt. Ballet music often takes melodies from other things so it shouldn’t have been a surprise, but that’s such a familiar piece of music to me, one that I truly love. I always cry at that point in the film.

I didn’t have any familiar steps to lock onto, but I had familiar music. It made it suddenly a whole lot better.

It’s amazing what a difference it made.

Maybe I’m made to be a choreographer or producer or something, instead of a performer. I want to be a teacher, and that would require choreography, for shows and performances and things.

Maybe I’m built like this so that I don’t try and go off and join a company. Maybe this is deliberate, to push me into where my talent really lies – in moving to music.

I don’t know.

But I tell you something, having a temperature gives you seriously weird dreams.

And also makes me go off topic quite a lot. Oops.

This gif pretty much sums up the incoherent nature of my brain and behaviour today. I don’t cope well with being ill.

11 thoughts on “I wasn’t made for this

  1. Hey ho, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Maybe it IS choreography you’re made for – that’s not a half bad prospect! Everyone knows there’d be no show without choreographres ;)

    Besides, long legs don’t guarantee grace and rhythm. I’m long-legged as heck, and I spend more time tripping over them than anything else. Being tall also gives you irrational fears like ceiling fans and the tops of doorways that smaller people don’t have to worry about.

    Hope you feel better soon, and many hugs in consolation for your course being kinda trashed for you. May the karma fairy be nicer to you in future. Let me know if it isn’t . . . that critter owes me a favour or two.

    1. I trip over my own feet (and sometimes my hands) on a regular basis – I just don’t have as far to fall, ehehe :D
      If life actually gave me a lemon I would be obliged to say, “Is this a lemon I see before me?” and then go marching forth with a banner proclaiming that my lemons were sharp. Hey ho.

      1. Oh, on that note – that lemons thing has infested my brain. I’m currently plotting a Game-of-Thrones-motto style mangling of fandom stuff. E.G. Ours is the Feels, Hear Me Asdkf, stuff like that. Because I can.

  2. My favorite part in the Prince of Egypt is when Moses is going back to Egypt after the whole burning bush episode, and he rides over the hill and into Egypt and there’s the whole “daaaaa-da-DAAAAA, daaaa da daaa daaa daaaaa” music, and Moses gets this really wrath-y look on his face. I may not have explained it very well, but that moment always gives me chills. “When You Believe” is a close second though. :P

    1. I think I know which bit you mean, yeah :D Personally, though When You Believe makes me cry, it’s the Plagues that I love more than anything – “into your sleep, into your dreams, until you break, until you yield!” is just too epic.

        1. Burning ice? O.o The bit I like is “I send the fire raining down”. It’s actually that song that made me watch the Prince of Egypt again – someone had made a great Thor/Loki video to it (obviously, the brotherly thing is very appropriate) and I thought, “Hey, I know this music from somewhere…” Borrowed a VHS (it’s not childhood if you watch it on DVD) and that was that.

  3. okay I think my comment shall now take *sigh* wordpress isn’t liking me at the moment.

    So as I was trying to write, only the site didn’t post it:

    The more I hear you talk about Dance the more I want to connect you with Lori Browning, who runs the dance studio next to my work. Her passion for moving and teaching and being a christian so fits in with what I hear from you that I suspect an angel will sing if the two of you ever met…

    Okay that might be exageration. :}

    Have you thought about trying a different type of dance? Like you I’m not really meant for Ballet, and while Schottish Highland Dancers use their arms more than Irish dancers it’s still not much. In fact Mrs. Lori likes to pass on what I told her – for new steps in Zumba, I work on teh feet first, then, when confidant enough, I add in the arms. it’s the only way I can do it. But now I’m proficient at many umba steps…

    I’m also thinking of trying Hip Hop. Mrs. Lori thinks I ‘d be good at it, given what she’s seen of me in Zumba class. :}

    1. Trust me, I’m worse at other things. Ballet and Irish are both so strictly disciplined that I look totally ridiculous doing jazz or contemporary or whatever… ;-)

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