Yesterday, I was at a ballet class in the morning. It was tough, even though it was a beginner class. My body is just not used to those kind of movements and I definitely don’t have the strength and flexibility to gracefully glide or fly or kick across the floor the way some of the other students do. But I try to remember that I am there to strengthen my legs and just improve myself, not compare myself to everyone else.
I would have found it so easy if I had continued with ballet as a kid. Remember Miss G? Oh my God, she was horrible. ‘Jaduree’, you probably called her. She was, but on top of that, she was just so mean! How were we supposed to know how to do the moves if she never showed us? I just remember her banging her cane on the dance floor yelling at everyone.
It is understandable why I left those classes. I never thought about how I got there though, each week. How the classes were paid for. How you would have to wait for me or drop me off or how much of your own time and money and energy it took to give me the opportunity to learn to dance.
It is the same with music. The piano lessons I took every Sunday with that other tyrant of a teacher- Miss R. Now she was not fun at all. But you put up with all of it just for me. I never got to thank you for that, Mom. I never got to thank you for giving me these lessons that you never had the opportunity to learn yourself. And though I didn’t continue with piano or flute or ballet into my adult years, I wanted you to know it all made a huge difference. It really did.
I have a keyboard now that I try to create my own songs on or practise other piano technique on. And I know how to read music because of those lessons from childhood. And this has helped me so much with singing, guitar dabbling, and even just made me more appreciative of listening to music.
And dance is still a huge part of my life. Maybe I didn’t continue with ballet a long time ago, but I was given that spark to make me love movement and music and expression through the body. And here I am going back to ballet class, as an adult, after so many years. This time with more positive, active instructors that I can be inspired by. But still, I see how expensive the lessons are, how much time it takes to get to class, and what kind of sacrifices other family members make for the younger students to get the chance to learn dance, or any other arts.
Thank you so much, Mom. Every lesson opened my mind up to something new. Every lesson was more testament to your desire to give me the best and make sure I knew that could have and do just as much as anyone else.
It made a difference, Mom. It is still making a difference.
Thank you for investing in me and my passion to create and explore and learn to express myself.
I wish I had shared it with you more. I wish you had been given the opportunity to explore all this yourself. The healing and stress relief and fun that comes from it would have been so beneficial to you. Now, I can only use the lessons and my appreciation of it all to honour you and create art and music and dance to tell people about you and how lucky I am to have you as a mom.