I haven't taken ballet for something like fifteen years. When I stopped, exactly, is fuzzy; all I remember is trading it in for piano lessons, and feeling some regret because I had just gotten demi-pointe shoes and it probably wouldn't have been too much longer until pointe shoes came along. But anyway. I was young and I quit, and I've been wanting to go back for years. I've missed it.
Maybe you have a similar story? In the last month, it seems that every friend I tell about my plan to start taking ballet again replies with, "Oh, same here. I'd love to get back into it, too." So, why not? Time, money, worries that you'll be the worst in the class? I guess I had those excuses too. But eventually my desire to dance outweighed all of that. I stopped caring that I wasn't as graceful or flexible or in shape as I wish I was. I wrote ballet drop-in on my calendar, and I counted down the days.
I took my first class today. There were five other women there, and I liked our instructor instantly. She was kind and encouraging, and maybe most importantly, she was enthusiastic about teaching us. Class began. We warmed up at the barre, we moved to the floor, we did a short combination from one corner to the other. Most of it came back to me, but it wasn't easy; by the end of the hour I was thirsty and hot, and it felt good to step out into the cool winter air in leggings and a thin sweater. When I came home I said hello to Rufus, and warmed up a bowl of homemade soup, and I laid my ballet shoes back on top of my dresser. I hope I will keep reaching for them for a long time to come.