Last night I went to my first class at the Peoria Ballet Academy. At first I was surprised that it was located in what was essentially a metal pre-fabricated building in an industrial area. The interior was nice and I immediately flashed by to the classes I took as a child in Hollywood. The studio was on Hollywood and Vine above a pizza parlor where a set of narrow stairs let up to hallways lined with piles of the vestiges of girlhood tossed casually on the floor and worn cubbyholes filled with grubby little shoes.
The Peoria Academy has the same feeling (but wider hallways). The halls are lined with pink crocs (ugh), uggs or their cheap equivalent (ugh), hair brushes, brightly colored hoodies and garish backpacks and "dance" bags. Tiny girls and coltish teens clomp by in tight buns and pink tights while music floats out under the doors of the studios.
Slowly the students in the Adult Beginner class gathered outside our studio and a loud clique of "ballet moms" filled the hallway physically and aurally. Those of us not in the clique sat quietly together until class started.
I was so nervous but once we started at the barre I didn't really care about the clique or that I was wearing my lymphedema sleeve or that I was the biggest person in the room. I just felt wonderful. And when the teacher asked me to be in the first group when we started center work I didn't even hesitate.
I started the day in a terribly negative head space and left class exhilarated. Too bad I have to wait an entire week to do it again.