One of the things I look forward to the most in the week is my PE ballet class- sometimes the last thing at 10am on a rainy Monday morning (like this) that I want is to trudge down to Hearst Gym and contort myself painfully, but I don't ever regret attending ballet class. I think my body is sometimes an alien object to me- I find it hard to believe that I exist as a physical extension into space (no really, I'm not kidding). I grew up always reading books, never really taking any physical risks, always floating along existing in my own mind. Now that I am forced to contend with gravity and hips and the inexorable bending of knees, I am made so much more of aware of how my body moves. Sometimes I think I completely psych myself out in class because I overthink where to place my foot or how to lift my heel, but it very refreshing to be focusing in college on the body instead of only the mind.
I found these pictures online by Douglas Despres of the Alameda Civic Ballet. I think they really showcase the hard work that goes into ballet but also the astounding loveliness of doing something right. (That first picture with her feet in third position is so beautiful!)
It aggravates me SO MUCH in class when I don't do things right, but I need to remind myself that it is okay, I am allowed to not get the perfect passage the very first time I attempt one. It's a real reminder that while perfection is the ultimate goal, is it never the achievement of that goal that defines you, but the attempt to get there that does.
All images from Douglas Despres' website.