At lunch, we do ballet

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I can't think of ballet or dance without it bringing on waves of nostalgia, a longing for a childhood where my parent's weekends revolved around getting me to a multitude of dance and stage classes, a whirlwind of art that took up every spare moment of my life and occupied my thoughts day and night. 

I wanted to be on stage like a moth to a flame and yet the older I got, despite the love and passion I felt for performing, realism took it's firm grip of me and the art of performing got left behind, tangled in a web of fading dreams along with the memories of cartwheels and finger painting. 

 Ballet is perhaps the most disciplined form of creativity out there, yet the most utterly captivating. As children, dance taught us how to work hard, to concentrate, to compete and to keep going. It wasn't just the glamour of the shows that had me obsessed, I loved the gruelling rehearsals, the technique, the burning calf muscles and jelly legs. I yearned that feeling of knowing my whole body had been pushed to it's limit, all of it working up to the moment that I stood on stage in front of a whole theatre of waiting, expectant eyes. Yet somewhere along the way, somewhere between my youthful passion and my growing realism, I must have given it all up. 

It has only really dawned on me very recently that Ballet, out of all forms of dance, seems to be the one that has pirouetted it's way into our adult lives more than ever, with nude pumps, ballet buns and skater skirts being a timeless staple of every girl's style. Many of us have been walking around wearing remnants of our childhoods without ever even realising what that signified. Now even Barre and ballet inspired yoga classes are filling up the studios of London so we can pop out on our lunch breaks for an hour of gruelling pain and blissful satisfaction. Alexa Chung seems to have trend setted revisiting our childhood by taking ballet up as a new adult hobby, inspiring many to pick up their slippers and get stretching. 

It occurred to me that the older we get the more we feel like we can no longer have hobbies. Life becomes about making money and less about enriching ourselves with art and the things we feel passionately about. I imagine that if I filled my life with ballet lessons, actually sacrificed some time to pick up this hobby, I would be met with a considerable amount of people asking: 
'What's the point?'

It's far too late to be a professional ballerina, it's not making me any money nor will it ever, it's making me tired and taking up a lot of time so why the hell would I bother?

The point is the same now as it was when we were young and passionate about everything. The point is that it's so important to fill your life with things you feel passionately about as many of us have stopped feeling passionately about anything other than a lie in and 8 hours sleep. We've lost the ability to enjoy anything in life unless it's filling our pockets. Yet hobbies make us rich in a whole different capacity because they bring meaning back to what we do. 

This post isn't really about ballet or dance, instead it's about realising that it's never too late to pick something up. As I stood in a ballet studio today among new work friends, next to a barre like I was 8 years old, it just occurred to me how different life was yet this felt so right. It felt good to be doing something just because I enjoyed it.  

There's no person I admire more than the ones that are still working towards their childhood dreams, the ones who took the risks, who kept on going while the rest of us left our dreams behind to be just that; dreams. 

While it may be a little late to become a professional ballerina, it's never too late for a change. To pick up an old passion and make it a part of your new life. You don't always have to be paid for something to mean you're succeeding at it, sometimes it's important that you do it because you enjoy it. That's what will make you feel far richer than any taxable salary. We all have day jobs and if you're incredibly lucky in life then that day job will be your passion, if it's not then that doesn't have to define you. That just makes it more important to fill your free time with doing those things you do feel passionately about, or discovering the things that will enrich your life further. 

I've realised how important it is to make time for things you enjoy. We need to live more like children; it's not about lying in and taking time out, it's about fitting as much adventure into your day as possible. Trying everything and anything, getting that feeling of longing and satisfaction which used to occupy our youthful day dreams.

I'm the first to moan about the 9-5 monotony of life, the lost childhood of blissful memories but I have come to realise that I can still have all that.

Just this time without my parents to chauffeur.

xo

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3 comments

  1. I loved this post so much - I may have teared up a bit. Thank you for writing it.

    Always with love xx

    Catarina // ohkori.blogspot.com

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  2. Wonderfully written post that made my heart filled with nostalgia. It suddenly made me miss those days filled with bobby pins, ballet shoes, leotards and busy afternoons.
    Masha x

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