Adult ballet

As a blog title, that sounds a little bit dodgy really doesn't it? Or is it just that sticking 'adult' before an activity now automatically makes us think it must be something rather unsavoury? Maybe it's just me. I digress...

Like many middle-class girls from Surrey, I did ballet as a child. I also did: tap, tennis, swimming, horse-riding, ice-skating, Brownies and Guides, Duke of Edinburgh, Young Enterprise, piano, clarinet, tenor saxophone and was the member of a jazz band AND a church youth club. You name it: my parents threw it at me, hoping something would stick. I actually now think they must have read some book in the 80s that said hobbies were the making of a (wo)man, and thus tried their best to engage me in anything extracurricular that came my way.

Alas, however, I was SHIT at sport. I still am SHIT at sport. I loved music, and happily practised piano every night, but anything physical - ugh. I used to hide behind the big tree in the playground during PE, and managed to get away with it for quite a long time before eventually getting caught and given detention.

Ballet was a particular torture though - I hated it. I thought it was mind-numbingly dull. Also, I hated performing in any capacity (my career as a concert pianist was always doomed - my first ever recital of Beethoven's Moonlight began with me sitting down and feeling so overcome with embarrassment at all the faces staring at me I apologised before I'd even played a note).

But my Mum loved ballet. She wanted a little ballerina, as I am sure most mums do. And so I wasn't allowed to give it up, no matter how much I screamed and wailed and complained. In actual fact, it was my tenth birthday present - being allowed to finally give up ballet after six miserable years. Hurrah! I triumphantly chucked my stupid leotard and stupid pink tights in the bin.

Oh how things change. Those seeds were planted by my mother, and somehow, 25 years later, they've taken root. Because I am now a ballet addict.

It's all thanks to my friend Vicky. We both hate the gym, but we both agree that exercise is good and we probably should do more of it. So she suggested we sign up to a six-week adult ballet course. And I agreed, not really thinking much about it, but think it might be a good alternative to yoga, which gives me wind and makes me laugh (all that meditating - I'm just WAY too cynical).

What I didn't expect is to learn that BALLET IS BRILLIANT.

Adult ballet is anyway. I love it! I was terrible to begin with, but slowly and surely I do seem to be improving (just a little). And it's so much fun! I don't know why, but it's so much fun! Maybe it's the music that we get to bend and stretch to - maybe it's the fact that there's a bloke in our class who comes every week in a football shirt, and I just can't help but love him for his guts at being the only chap in a class of girls. Maybe it's the fact that you don't get sweaty or out of breath or gross, but you leave feeling all stretched and just a teeny bit taller than when you went in. Either way, I'm hooked. Anyone who's considering it - sign up sign up sign up! It's ace.

Here's the course I do. Beats huffing and puffing on the treadmill any day.

Disclaimer: the ballerina in the first picture is not me. Or Vicky. Yet.