(This is the second part of a post about a very special moment, a milestone in my life, I believe. Part one here)
She said: ‘This weight of yours is only like an armour, and inside it is the real you. A dancer.’
I think that was the moment the tears came to my eyes. Maybe because I was still a little shaken by my emotions in class, but mostly because it was a moment of truth.
I said yes, through my tears. ‘Yes, I feel it. Sometimes, when I listen to music and I just want to… ‘ here I made an opening gesture with my arms ‘… come out and… ‘
There are no words for it.
BUT SHE UNDERSTANDS.
I saw it in her face. She understands, because she is a dancer.
More tears came.
Then she added: Sometimes I see glimpses of it, in the way you lift your arm at the barre for example.
Don’t let your shyness stop you, don’t let self-doubt stop you.
I nodded again.
In those small beginning movements, I often dare to ‘open myself’.
But then my courage fails me.
She also said it was a pity I couldn’t jump.
I said yes, but that I wanted to dance all my life and not ruin my joints. And that I hoped one day I’d be light enough to jump.
Belinda: ‘Maybe you will one day be allowed to jump, then you will be able to feel the pressure of your feet against the floor when you take off, and you will feel weightless for a moment in the air. It is a wonderful feeling.’
I nodded, smiling.
I KNOW, I wanted to say. I never did those jumps, but I KNOW how it feels.
Belinda also said: ‘If you hold yourself back, the class will only do so much for your feet and legs, your strength etc. But if you dare to let go…
Do come more often to my class. I am always wondering, will Aliénor be here today? And if you are not, I am disappointed. I really like you.’
Then she told me about her trouble, something to do with her husband’s job, which was making her tense and irritable. She apologized for the way she had behaved in class. She had just suddenly felt as if all her effort to give a great class was unappreciated. So she grew very angry and just gave easy combinations as I wrote above. But she didn’t blame me, although I had made as many mistakes. I still don’t know who she meant, we were all trying.
Well. That was a milestone moment. At last, I have proof. I am not imagining things. I do have this deep love of music and movement, and it is evident. I am not fooling myself.
Everything I have experienced so far, all the suffering, all the joy, have brought me here.
I can’t wait for what is still to come. It is scary, but exciting.
Four years ago, (after taking classes for two months) I wrote this in my diary, after an open house day at a dance school where I’d taken five different classes. It came to my mind just now. The moment I first truly realized it for myself:
“… After ballet I went to African Dance. A tall, beautiful African taught that class. The music was wonderful, almost only drums. I longed to just dance to it, and in fact the teacher told us to, in pairs. But I didn’t feel ready yet…
But then he taught us steps, and slowly put together a dance. I was not always fast enough, but the stomping and bending felt wonderful. He told us to forget goals, to think only of dancing, to smile. He said every body was different, so we couldn’t all dance the same way. It was important to dance, not to do everything right. A child came in and started dancing right away. The teacher immediately invited it in. It was a young girl, and in the end, when we had to improvise, she just jumped and jumped and shouted with joy.
This lesson especially made me feel keenly that I am a dancer, under all my fat, behind all my fears. And I will set myself free and dance until my dying day. … “