Moving Forward, Looking Back

My name is Charlotte, and I am a ballet-aholic.

 

I have been dancing ballet for 20 years, and besides a few forays into modern and jazz that lasted no longer than a weekly class at summer ballet camps, I have never explored any other dance style.  My ballet teachers didn't really encourage me to try anything else, and I wouldn't really have had time, seeing as I was doing, well, ballet all the time.  Until June, that is, when I decided to take some time off from dancing for personal reasons, and because, let's face it, things start hurting after a while.  Not dancing was refreshing--it gave me a chance to explore some other interests I have, and to recharge my batteries.  I guess I had just burned out a bit on ballet, although I love it no less.

 

I've begun to miss dancing, though, and recently started thinking about firing up my dance engines again, and how I should ease back into it, since I don't think it would be particularly smart to jump back into my old, rather rigorous schedule after no plies for four months.  This was a turning point for me:  I had to start considering other options, other ways of moving.  After talking abot it with a friend, she invited me to go to a Cunningham class at the company's studios in NYC's West Village with her on Tuesday, and I'm so glad I went. 

 

I loved the gentleness of the movement, and the long, slow warmup.  My ballet technique was put to good use, but I felt no discomfort, since I didn't have to force anything.  My body already knew how to make most of the shapes the teacher asked for, but they didn't have to conform to an ideal, which was unbelievably refreshing.  We did some simple across the floor and allegro work, and in the middle of it all, I realized: Hey, I'm dancing!  And yes, it felt wonderful.  I'm looking forward to more classes, and as I get used to turning in and out, bending, and stretching again, I will be going back to ballet.  After all, they say you never forget your first love.

 

Thank you, Merce, wherever you are, for helping me find what I'd lost.

 

Latest Posts


Courtesy ABC

Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Alicia Mae Holloway Talks About Her Time on ABC's “The Bachelor”

Bunheads tuning in to the season premiere of ABC's "The Bachelor" on January 4 may have recognized a familiar face: Dance Theatre of Harlem's Alicia Mae Holloway, literally bourréeing out of a limousine to greet bachelor Matt James. While Holloway unfortunately didn't get a rose that night, she did thoroughly enjoy being the long-running reality franchise's first professional-ballerina contestant, as she told Pointe in a recent Zoom call.

Keep reading SHOW LESS

#TBT: Carla Fracci and Stephen Jefferies in "La Esmeralda" (1987)

Carla Fracci, a former principal dancer of La Scala Ballet in Milan, is among the rare class of ballerinas who continued to perform into her 50s and beyond. Romantic ballets were her calling card throughout her career. In 1987, when Fracci was 51, she was featured in a television special, dancing reconstructed 19th-century ballets in the style of historical ballerinas. In this clip of La Esmeralda from the program, Fracci and her partner Robert Jefferies, a former principal at The Royal Ballet, deliver an extraordinary performance, capturing the verve and spirit of their characters.

Keep reading SHOW LESS
Getty Images

Ask Amy: How Can I Make the Most of Performance Opportunities in a Pandemic?

My school is connected to a professional company that operates on a show-to-show basis. Students can audition for company performances when they're 15. My 15th birthday is in February, and I think that our directors are choosing people to participate in virtual performances based off of whether they have performed with the company before. This was supposed to be my big first year with the company, but COVID-19 has changed that. How do I make it known that I want to participate? Do you think I should wait until things are more normal? —Lila
Keep reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks