Embrace the Ridiculous

I’ve been a very bad blogger. It’s not that I’ve had a lack of things to talk about but that I’ve had trouble putting things into words that I’ve wanted to share lately. This is extraordinarily strange for me because words are my thing. I guess that I’ve had to sort some things out for myself first.

Over the years – yes, I have a bad habit of holding onto things for YEARS – I’ve had many a discussion about this whole ballet thing and sometimes feeling rather like a nutter. Taking ballet at my age – nutter; crossing the world to watch ballet and take beginning ballet classes – nutter; waiting at the stage door like some starry-eyed teenager – nutter; throwing work suits into a storage drawer to make more room for my ballet stuff – nutter! The argument against nutter is fairly simple, why is it nuts to do something that you love? But let’s face it, lots of people do things that are a huge waste of time and energy (and money) Β just because they enjoy doing it… take curling for an example, what’s up with that?!

So I’m sitting in a coffee shop with Carboy talking about a ballet performance that I’d really like to see but of course it’s around the world and we just got off an international flight and I’m trying to work my teaching and lecturing schedule around taking ballet class and going to ballet performances and the words that are coming out of my mouth are sounding really ridiculous even to my own ears. And I shake my head and state what I think is the obvious… “I shouldn’t keep doing this, it’s ridiculous.”

And then Carboy says this…

“Embrace the ridiculous. You should keep doing crazy things. You were doing crazy when I met you and you haven’t stopped yet. It’s a good trait. You make crazy work for us. If it weren’t for your willingness to be ridiculous we wouldn’t be where we are now. We need to do more ridiculous things, not less.”

First of all, you can’t have him, I’m keeping him. Second, yes, there is no denying the ridiculous. It is ridiculous and I am a nutter. It’s okay, I’m making it look cute. Why shouldn’t we embrace ridiculous things, crazy ideas, and eccentric notions? Isn’t that what creativity and innovation are all about?! The balance to the ridiculous is that it is often that which is also brilliant, beautiful, and amazing. I have had so many AMAZING, INCREDIBLE, INSANE experiences because of ballet. I have made so many WONDERFUL, FABULOUS, NUTTER new friends because of ballet. Ballet has been the most brilliantly ridiculous choice that I’ve made in my adult life!

So watch out! If you see a short American nutter embracing the ridiculous, that’ll be me! Things are about to get all kinds of crazy up in here!

Let’s dance. All will be well. Even the ridiculous.

15 thoughts on “Embrace the Ridiculous

  1. Haha what a lovely entry!! I completely agree with Carboy; you should embrace the craziness.. because it’s what you love!!
    Taking up ballet (and now contemporary) on my own, as an adult, 5 years ago sounded crazy to me too, but I haven’t had one second of regret throughout all those years. Let’s up the crazy some more!!

    • Thanks, Ro! That’s a good point – I have no regrets from ballet, zero! Ballet has been good to me in every way. I’m definitely ready to up the crazy!!! πŸ˜€

  2. Love this! I think the same all the time. But you know what? I reckon we’re actually the sane ones, now, and in the end. I know so many older people who regret not doing more things just because they loved them.

    My honking these days is that we should fall into whatever we love. Because there really is no rhyme or reason to life. God, I hope at the end of my life I look back and have memories of all the experiences I have LOVED! Not just the hard work stuff.

    AlsoI zone out of non-ridiculous conversations very fast. I need me some ridiculous. πŸ™‚

    And seriously, curling? What the?

    Keep it coming, lovely! πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, BB! Very, very true. My best memories always include some bit of nonsense, craziness, or all out insanity! Even my best dayjob work has come from a place of professional lunacy, when I am able to step back and say… I know this sounds crazy but what if…

      I think that what you are doing is both the height of crazy and the utmost of brilliance! You are a shining example of how amazing ridiculous can be! I love it! Flying to ballet class… INCREDIBLE!!! ❀ ❀ ❀

      Ridiculous is the new sanity! πŸ˜€

  3. This is wonderful! Sounds like you’ve definitely got yourself a keeper! I go through phases of feeling apologetic, somehow, for my dance obsession. But that obsession has led me to some fabulous places, people, and events, and I’m sure it will continue to do so as long as I stay on the ride… and I think we should all stay on the ride as long as humanly possible!

    • Thanks, Rori. I do indeed have a keeper. Yeah, I want to dance for life too. I’m not sure if I will ever completely dust off the idea that this whole endeavor is nuts but if I’m going to think it’s nuts, then I’m going to fully embrace it! I have to say that ballet has taken me on quite an adventure, things that I’d never have imagined. Let’s hang on and enjoy the ride! πŸ˜€

    • Thanks, Nutter! πŸ˜€ ❀ Good point, ballet is often the life ring that keeps me afloat, gives me energy, and inspiration for "regular" life! I really couldn't do without it!

  4. I am all for embracing the ridiculous. But honestly speaking I do not think we are being ridiculous (even if we have been told so more than once by our mothers, spouses, employers etc.) I guess most people can’t survive on eat-work-sleep alone. If you take a look at your friends, colleagues or neighbours, you will probably find that most of them have something in their lives that is not “useful” at all, but makes them happy. People paint, write poetry, learn to sing or dance all the time. Human beings are creative and few will be able to swallow their creativity forever. Among my friends there is a journalist who sings opera in her free time, a taxi driver who loves to paint still lifes, a translater who started taking piano lessons, aged forty-six. They love it and they need it, as I need my dance classes. Not everybody can be a professional dancer, but that does not mean we cannot (or should not) dance.

    • I’m glad that you don’t feel ridiculous! That’s awesome. And amazingly enough, when I see other people taking on the challenge of ballet, I don’t think of them as being ridiculous either. I think it’s brave and wonderful. I do feel ridiculous when I do it. It’s a self-judgement issue, I guess. No one really tells me that I’m being crazy. In my own mind, I am not being ridiculous when I play violin because I can actually play music, or when I write because I am published, or when I sculpt because I’ve been shown… but when I dance… that’s another story. I wish that I didn’t see myself as ridiculous and maybe someday that will change but until then, I just have to embrace the notion otherwise I probably would stop. Thank you for adding to the conversation, I really appreciate it! πŸ™‚

      • Perhaps it feels different to me, because I dance flamenco, not ballet. Among flamenco people there has always been a lot of respect for the amateur. For example, if you comment on a dancer’s performance, and another one says: oh, you should have seen his grandmother. So you ask: who was she? And you find that she was a mother of five who “only” danced at private parties occasionally. Or you teacher arrives with a big smile on his face and says: I MUST teach you the step my crazy brother did last night! (The crazy brother in this case was a sixty-year-old baker, not a professional dancer.) Many flamenco dancers have said that what they do comes from “el pueblo llano” (I am not sure how to translate that: common people?)

      • Oh, yes, flamenco is different in that way – so much respect for amateurs and for older dancers, even dancers who started at a much older age. And much less divide between “amateurs” and professionals. Ballet is still rather elite.

        If you start ballet as an adult and show any amount of talent, you will undoubtedly hear, too bad you didn’t start at a much younger age, like four. Personally, I find that statement obnoxious. Why is it too bad, why can’t it just be good that I started dancing now!?! And why must it be made SO CLEAR that “adult dancers” aren’t really “dancers” per se but more like hobbyists? That’s the way it is in ballet. So if you are just an “adult dancer” it often seems very silly – like dress up in reverse. There is also a notion that a woman taking a ballet class is some sort of delayed girlish dream, rather than the pursuit of a grown woman who enjoys dancing. There is an amount of condescension, I think, when people talk about women living their little girl dreams of tiaras and tutus. But enough of that rant πŸ˜‰

        I do agree with you 100% that dance if for everyone, professional and non-professional alike! Thanks, Paulina! πŸ™‚

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