As most dancers/students know, writing about ballet is really easy to do when assigned a memoir for school. I’m pretty sure that every memoir I’ve ever written has had something to do about ballet ! This most recent assignment asked us to address “where do you live and what do you live for?.” We spent a long time studying transcendentalists, so I definitely have a lot of those influences in my paper. I mainly wrote about how sometimes I fail to live in the present, as I am pressured by society to constantly focus on the future. I realized that one of my greatest escapes in which I focus only on the present is in ballet. Here’s an excerpt from my paper about ballet.
The stage is where I shed my burdens of societal pressure to achieve. It is my most cherished haven from the pull between past and future. I experienced my first true joy of movement, and of the present, in last year’s Nutcracker performance. I, blessed with the opportunity to dance the lead in Waltz of the Flowers, felt like I sparkled. I know, it sounds so stereotypical to be a glittery, pink ballerina with a big poofy tutu, but I sparkled internally. My most exuberant moment of the piece was a very intense serious of turns and leaps in front of a long diagonal of dancers, posed to provide a backdrop for the lead. At that moment, the music grew in both volume and warmth, adding new instruments to beckon me out from the wings. The most amazing thing about the stage is darkness of the audience, leaving them completely anonymous, and almost nonexistent to the performer, while the heaven-like stage lights make you feel like you are utterly illuminated and burning up like a shooting star, in such a heartwarming way. Yes, I’d say that the spotlight has convinced me that I am the reason why I dance. I feel no pressure but from myself and no time constraint but the tempo of the music. It’s like Stephen Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower, when Charlie, Sam, and Patrick drive through the Pittsburgh tunnel and stand up out of the sunroof to take in the beautiful lights while blasting the song “Landslide.” Charlie says, “And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” Dancing is a way for me to feel bigger than reality and to become completely infinite.