Ballet begins…beginners Ballet

According to one of my cornerstone friends and artist Georgina Vinsun, it is ‘NaBloPoMo’…National Blog Posting Month. I like the fact they have a flying typewriter as the events logo on their Twitter page. You have to write and post something everyday so I’m going to give it a try. This might actually mean you get shorter blog posts out of me!

This post is about ballet…beginning ballet again after 14 or so years off and it was a complete shock to the system. I started ballet when I was very little with (I think) the Royal Ballet School at an accredited studio in Surrey. In the mid-1990s, my parents had to move north to the Midlands (UK) so my ballet routine couldn’t really be maintained. It was hard to find a school that was even remotely comparable. So now at the age of 28 I’ve started my love affair with it again…and I simply do love it. I’ve missed it, it is in my soul. I think this would have been my career if I wasn’t in the art world. Here in Shanghai, I go to a school called Jazz du Funk just round the corner from where I live. I’m taught by a male instructor called Zhang Hao who is incredibly strict. He pushes you to your limit, forcing your stretches until your muscles shake. After the first session, I had a smile on my face all the way to Fei Dan, the Western supermarket, where I got gluten-free muesli on super discount so I bought 4 boxes…then I smiled all the way home, and still do after each session. In the last session on Saturday morning, Zhang made us do the splits (or in my case not), coming round to each person individually to push down on your shoulders…one girl even screamed a little…immediate fear on my face. Somewhat scary but I like the intensity. You really do feel as though your body achieves something…I certainly did feel this after the second session as the weather was slightly tropical and humid so it was quite sweaty in there. So satisfying…I forgot how much energy it involved. At the moment, I go twice a week and right now I see myself as a slightly uncoordinated elephant…it will all fall into place soon though…with this style of teaching I don’t have a choice. I will be a ballerina…

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