There are so many ways to get in your workout, these days: a quick jog, a trip to the machines at the gym, a bike ride if the weather co-operates. But several of my friends have decided to check their egos at the door in the pursuit of something more mindful and meaningful for their ‘my bodywork time’ — they enroll in Adult Ballet classes. I think of them as ageless swans.
Now, don’t get me wrong, these are not women with lots of free time on their hands. They lead busy lives with full-time jobs, children (the four- and two-legged kind), and significant others to care for. Yet, they seem determined to undertake the daunting task of learning a new language/sport/art form. After all, they could be just catching up on emails as they log minutes on the treadmill at the gym.
I learned the vocabulary of dance beginning at age 8, when my body and mind were much more supple and spongelike than they are now. The synapses from my brain to my feet were threaded a lot more tightly then than they are now.
Because I find this to be true in myself, I am in awe of these women who come once a week with their hearts and minds open, to embrace something totally new to them. Their faces are intent with focus and determination. Their spirits are visibly lifted by the music and the motion of their own instruments.
It is new for me to teach at this level. I struggle to find the best way to provide the keys to unlocking what is, for many, an experience only shared from across an orchestra pit. Their enthusiasm and joy are encouraging, as they work to achieve a body understanding heretofore only admired in others, often their own children, who are studying dance.
I feel honored to be in a position not only help these ageless swans in their pursuit of a healthy workout, but also to share in the wisdom and humor these women freely exchange as we commiserate across the barre.