“Once a dancer, always a dancer.”
I twist my hair into a knot at the base of my neck, for convenience sake. The strands twirl themselves into submission, knowing their place by force of habit from those middle school days. Class was held 6 days a week as Miss B attempted to grind each of us into the prima she never got to be. We were her vessels of wrath and regret; the barre was her lightning rod.
Still, there was joy hidden in the midst of it. Caught weightless at the top of a grand jeté. Feeling strength and acute pain course through your shoulders after holding your arms in second position for forty-five minutes straight. Aware of how and where to move every limb and connective tissue, because that is the secret craft we learn. Submitting to pain in order to portray effortless strength.
My body is no longer what it was in those days, for lack of discipline. Yet I haven’t lost what made me love it all those years ago. The incarnation of music through movement, I choreograph ballets in my head with every song on this playlist. I walk to class like I would walk to the wings, with anticipation and excitement. I see the others as a part of a greater dance, moving in their assigned parts for the larger beauty. These do not leave, nor do I hope they ever will.