So, second night of new class series with the supermodels… why am I surprised, the new studio is on the West Side after all – home of Melrose, Fairfax, and half a dozen or so movie studios. I get to class and hang with my ballet pal, Joanna, and our new ballet pal, Grace, talking slipper fit and covertible vs. regular tights while warming up. Right before class starts, giving them zero warm up time, begins the stream of abercrombie girls. And I almost laughed out loud. They were recently spray tan sculpted (to look thinner), wearing shorts or leggings, and one of them couldn’t blink. Oh. My. God. They made themselves feel bad about each other! I honestly felt kind of bad for them yet again, especially for the botoxed one. Can you imagine being twenty-five and botoxing your eyebrows solid???
I realize that I’m a fortunate person who as a young adult never really had to think much about my weight or body type. And listen, I grew up in Los Angeles proper around Pasadena Rose Parade Queens, models, and actors, not some square state where “healthy” is more the norm. I got used to being short early, my bestest pal since forever is 5’10”. We look insane when we hang, she’s tall and flat, I’m short and built like Selena (you remember J-Lo’s butt becoming famous for the movie about Selena) but I’ve mostly gotten over worrying about it. As you get a little older, however, stuff starts to change and not in a good way… and it’s an issue of getting over it all over again. My god, does this high school of life never end!
Anyway… turns out my little swizzlestick ballerinas signed up for a more advanced class because they all took happy toes ballet classes as little girls (5 minutes ago) or other types of dance (a jazz girl, a tap girl, and a hip-hop girl). Wake up call, ladies, this is BALLET and ballet teacher takes no prisoners. He is serious – ballet serious, which… you must realize by now, is just about as serious as it gets. Ballet teacher wanted to get through full barre quickly to have more time in center with traveling steps so early in the class, he moved me to one end of the room and Joanna to the other end of the room, he went to the middle and pointing outstretched arms, “if you get lost, follow her or her, keep moving, ladies!”
You know what, we can’t help ourselves to jump to conclusions or judgment calls about people based on what we see, it literally is an anthropological function of the human animal, I could explain in detail but you’d be bored soon… or already, sorry. But we can learn to move past that. I really do hope that my new classmates are able to enjoy this class and this teacher because both are fantastic. And I hope that they are able to experience the focus of ballet that lets dance just envelope you in such a way that it’s how your body moves and works, not if you are skinnier than the person standing next to you. I hope they dance and I hope that it gives them joy… and I hope they learn to tuck those pull laces in.