08 May 2011

In which the Melancholy Swan ...

has been far to melancholy to post of late, but not too much to cheer for her friend (and current hero) the Adult Beginner on the occasion of her first pointe class!


  1. Sorry to hear about your melancholy :( I too felt pretty down in the dumps today, for several hours actually. Don't know if that's encouraging or not, but sometimes I like to hear that I am not alone in my melancholy. :) Anyways, I am excited for Adult Beginner too! Hope you post more soon, I really do enjoy your blog!

  2. This one has been tough to shake. Still is. But it is nice to know I'm not the only one...not that I'd wish it on anyone.

  3. Having dealt with melancholy myself I must say that dance/ballet is a great antidote, for a few hours at least. Which is funny seeing as my time in class is often frustrating, sweaty, and a bit of a struggle. And yet... the struggles are forgotten the moment I put on my clothes to leave, replaced with a feeling of exhilaration at having pushed myself beyond. Doesn't hurt that the amount of mental energy ballet requires allows doesn't give much room for the crap thoughts!

    And yes, very excited for Adult Beginner, too!

  4. The exhilaration after class (and during when I don't look in the mirror) is amazing! It usually lingers throughout the rest of the week until class comes again. Right now, unfortunately, it fades by the next day.

    See, a couple of weeks ago I learned that as an art historian in a art program, my contributions to the MFA program were superfluous, and the work I did with the grad students didn't matter much to most of my colleagues, who care only about pretty pictures. I was hired to bring academic and critical rigour to the program but it has been made clear that it really isn't welcome and what I thought was my new home now feels alien and unwelcome and I'm having trouble reconciling that right now. (End of non-ballet talk.)

    I've signed up for two different ballet classes over the summer and hopefully the time away from campus will help me get my head around all this. Tomorrow is my last day for the semester!

  5. Dear Melancholy,

    As a fellow adult beginner and academic AND sufferer of the melancholy, I can totally relate. I was actually thinking of quitting my current job because of strictly enforced mediocrity. After throwing several controlled tantrums to the right people there has been some relief. I'm not sure how long it will last.

    Ballet class really helps break up the week and give me something to look forward to. Some days I feel like I can barely drag my body out of bed, much less go to a ballet class, but I always feel better afterwards.

    Academic rigor is a bit of an endangered species in the current climate of higher education. Your institution doesn't deserve you. Don't be afraid to look elsewhere.

  6. Thank you book ballerina,

    I am planning to apply for new positions whenever they arise. I also considered quitting academia, and may still. I don't know.