Thursday, May 9, 2013

We Create the Pretty

When you mention ballet to most people, they think of pretty things. Tutus. Ethereal dancers en pointe. Men in tights and lovely brocade vests. Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. But the reality of ballet is that it is often anything but *pretty,* especially as an adult dancer.

The Truth About Ballet
  1. Ballet has awesome accoutrements, like my personal favorite, LEGWARMERS! But we also have scary pink tights. They make your legs look about 10 pounds heavier. No joke.
  2. Ballet literally changes your feet. After years of being able to wear pretty much any high-heeled shoe out there, I am starting to develop my first bunion (thank you, pointe class).
  3. Ballet is sweaty. For most people this probably isn't an issue, but I HATE the feeling of dripping sweat, and if you've never experienced sweating by the end of plies, then you're not dancing hard enough. They say women don't sweat, they glisten...."They" are full of it. And just wait until you experience being hit by someone else's sweat during pirouettes. Gag.
  4. Ballet hinders your summer footwear choices. I'm pretty sure my toenails are shrinking from pointe work, which likely means those cute summer sandals I have are going to Goodwill. I don't want to scare small children with my franken-feet.
  5. Ballet makes you hurt in areas you didn't know existed. Ever had a tight piriformis? Not exactly a walk in the park. Tight psoas? Major suckage.
  6. Ballet is expensive. Between class cards, leos, tights, LEGWARMERS!, shoes, pointe shoes, pointe shoe accessories, MORE LEGWARMERS!, leggings, skirts, goes on and on. It's a lot of money spent to spend a few hours sweating, all the while looking like a homeless person. Seriously. Ballet people are basically very chic hobos.
  7. Ballet is hard on your body. This should be a no-brainer, but as adults I think we tend to over-estimate how much our bodies can handle. In the past 2.5 years of class, I've had an ankle injury (sub-talar synovitis), knee surgery (worn down cartilage) and two rounds of physical therapy. And I'm constantly icing, soaking in epsom salts, foam rolling and stretching to try and prevent other injuries.
So why do it?

Because it's freaking BALLET, and we are ADULT BALLET BAD-ASSES! I can guarantee that one of the first comments you receive when someone learns you do adult ballet is, "WOW! I am so impressed you are doing that as an adult!" We do things to our bodies people can only dream of. We spin and fly through the air as if it were second nature. We stretch and bend like Gumby. 

We create the pretty.


  1. When I was in college, my then-girlfriend was taking ballet classes. One day she came to me and said, "If you like my feet, take a good look at them now -- I'm starting pointe class."

  2. That is so true! I think mine are getting pretty close to "do not expose in public" stage.