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a love letter to dance.

9 May 2010

{ images’ source: d e c o l l a g e }

I miss ballet.

It was everything to me when I used to take classes at a local dance studio, starting from when I was three. I constantly twirled around on my tippy-toes and refused to take off my [white Minnie Mouse] tights and matching tutu, and imagined performing in The NutcrackerSwan Lake, and its equivalents. As soon as I turned nine/ten, my ballet instructor recommended me for beginner pointe – something I’ve only dreamed of, and always thought of being a day so far away. I begged my mom, but she refused. After all, I wasn’t becoming a dancer, so why ruin my feet and knees? I then quit out of spite. Immature, I know, but somewhat excusable I suppose. I mean I was only ten.

I stopped dancing altogether. It would have been the end (and I say this in the least melodramatic way possible), had it not been for a friend who dragged me to try out for my high school’s dance team. Day one of auditions was nervewracking; what were fautees? Illusions? Pitch kicks? I almost got cold feet for Day two of the judged tryouts. Almost. But I hauled my nervous little arse (or my not-so-little derrière) for judgement day.

(The results aren’t exactly relevant, but if you’re curious, I made the JV team, then varsity as a sophomore – and it has since taken over my life during the course of high school. But I suppose if I never auditioned dance may have been nonexistent in my life! The horror…)

My love for dance was re-instilled over those four years – this year, especially. I’m finally taking dance classes again – open hip-hop and break classes – with such amazing people. Dancing makes me happy, no matter what mood I was in previously. It makes me feel alive, and connected with not just myself, but with those around me. It’s a passion, an obsession. A hobby, a way of life. Observing the way a dancer carries himself/herself is beautiful – the confidence, the poise, and the understanding of his/her own body and how it moves. The lines the ballerina or contemporary dancer is breathtaking, as captured in the shots above. The emphasis of beats by the hip hop dancer is, as cheesy as it is to say, in your blood. Boom. Boom. Cack. You begin to think in sounds and rhythm, feeling music into its very depth. The dancer expresses the music’s emotions, and his/her individual feelings. It’s complicated, yet so simple a concept. It is the language of the body, metaphorically speaking in words deeper than the written and spoken, and possesses the ability to feel.

I’ve always had a soft spot for editorials/photography that incorporates fashion and dance, where the clothing only accentuates the dancers’ body, and vice versa. The fabrics wrap around their bodies not to hide (ah, the love handles!), but to reveal the beauty of the body.

Dance, whether or not you’ve taken classes a little girl or not. Dance like no one is watching. It’s a beautiful thing. (Shall I go as far to say it becomes an existential experience?)


La C.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. missanonymous permalink
    9 May 2010 9:21 pm

    you write so beautifully & eloquently! you must be a beautiful dancer if you understand it so well, please, i know you like your anonymity, but if you could post videos of your performances here or on your tumblr that’d be amazing!!

  2. 9 May 2010 9:44 pm

    I used to be a dancer and I loved it so much but somehow I just stopped. Reading your words makes me miss it a lot! And those pictures are so beautiful, I wish I could move like that (again?)!

  3. 10 May 2010 7:02 am

    Your post is beautiful, a gorgeous love letter to dance! Ballet has always been a dream of mine, but I have never done it (I do boxing instead xD)… so I just watch movies and ballets at the opera ! It’s quite magical too !
    And then as you say, I dance a lot at home and everywhere !

  4. 10 May 2010 11:37 am

    Gorgeous photos! 🙂 I started taking an adult ballet class after an 8 year hiatus- loving it.

  5. 10 May 2010 10:29 pm

    You know what popped into my head when I was scrolling through those photos? I miss ballet. And then — boom — you thought the exact same thing.

    It was everything to me too, when I was younger. And I think once it’s in you, it’s in you.

    Ballet’s popping up everywhere these days, isn’t it? Maybe I should take a class…


  6. Liv permalink
    10 May 2010 11:53 pm

    Love this post!! Those images are so beautiful.

    I had a similar relationship with dance. I started at 3, and lived for ballet. I was forced to quit around age 10 due to circumstance and then never got back into it. To this day I remember what dance gave me: venue to be creative, commaraderie, discipline and confidence. For that, I’ll always be grateful to dance

  7. 11 May 2010 2:21 pm

    Oh, funny, I did ballet from the age of three, and quit when I was ten, as well. Of course, I only begun because my older sister did, and because it was expected of me (my mother was also a dancer, and her mother dreamed of being a dancer, and paid for all our lessons), and I think I quite liked it when I was very young, but ballet was always a bit too graceful and strict for the spunky child I was.

    Anyway, I’m glad you found your way back to what you love, and it’s always best to dance like nobody’s watching indeed!


  8. Elle permalink
    11 May 2010 3:51 pm

    Love this post! Just went to an open hip-hop dance class last night, and this puts every thought and feeling I have into words. Need to keep going!


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