The Dancer Says: 6 Reasons I’m Not Ready to Retire Today, Wednesday Dec. 7, 2011

You’ve prolly heard it, and it’s true: the ballerina’s shelf life is shorter than those of many other careers.  And as we “age” (i.e., approach numbers that don’t start with “2”) we/I find more and more that this sport-art is increasingly hard on our bodies–and accordingly wonder if it’s about time to call it quits and train the Next Generation.

Add to these emotions that Wednesdays are our late night rehearsal night at the studio…

Aside: About Wednesday

Wednesday means that after we work our Normal Person jobs (which we almost universally love, but which do take a lot out of us), we forgo the after-work cocktails with friends or quickie fabulous 20-minute workout at the gym, and instead trek on down to our beautiful studio and get down to business for four hours.  Yes, this is a long time, but it’s never long enough to do what we need to do; Wednesday also means that instead of the regular five or six hours of studio time (including Ms. Donna’s Crazy Hard Class) we have on a normal rehearsal day, we have much less–and we’re tired to boot.  In short, we have a lot to get done in an impossibly short period of time, and we might not always be quite as chipper as we’d like to be whilst this rehearsal occurs. Let’s just say that Wednesday is the kind of day where you get home at 10 pm and you still haven’t decided what you might eat for dinner and you are berating yourself for not having done your dirty dishes that morning or having put away the leotards you just washed, and you decide to eat random things like carrots and pretzels because the thought of standing to cook is absolutely horrifying.  THEN–spoiler alert–if you’re Hannah, you also start freaking out in the midst of your exhaustion about the fact that you have so many things to talk to Donna about: the sets, the costumes, the guest dancers, the press release, yada yada, yada.  Should you sleep so that you can somehow do better tomorrow?  Should you get work done so that you CAN sleep (those middle-of-the-night stress demons can only be cured with iPhone notes about lists)?

And these Wednesday nights, my friends, it is even more important for the Ballerina to remember why she loves what she does.  And even though 15 reasons would be better than six, we’re going to keep it simple.  (This is early practice for what is to become a New Year’s resolution, I am sure.)

The Dancer Says: 6 Reasons I’m Not Ready to Retire Today, Wednesday Dec. 7, 2011

*In no particular order of importance

1) It moves me.  Let’s face it.  After working in service or sitting in a cubicle all day, it’s pretty awesome to whack your body into shape(s).  We’re challenging our brains and our bodies.  It’s pretty unique, and pretty awesome.

2) It keeps me clean. I would probably be one of those slackers who never does laundry (I don’t know WHY I hate it so much!), but it’s Improper to wear the same leotard more than once in a two-week span, so ballet literally gives me an incentive to keep my stuff/myself clean.

3) I get to hang out with some pretty amazing people.  I love these peops.  Instead of retreating into self-loathing related to my inability to maintain control of my to do list, I get to hang out and work hard with my awesomely talented mom, sister, and best friends.  We keep each other honest, and we do laugh a lot.

4) It gives me nice gams.  Supposedly, tights help keep varicose veins at bay.  Since we wear tights all the time, we are likely to keep our legs in good shape.  Right?!

5) See the rain, don’t feel the rain…  I will admit that even though ballet is Crazy Hard, I would really rather be dancing than running, for example, in mud and freezing rain.  Kudos to my marathonning and soccer-playing friends.  I am not among you.

6) I do what I love.  When it all comes down to it, even though this is so often a labor of love, I get to DO WHAT I LOVE.  How many millions of people do not have this privilege?  Yes, I’m tired, but I am also proud and happy of this little ballet company that’s becoming.

I guess I have a few more years left in me.  Good thing, since now it’s Thursday morning.  🙂

Goodnight and thank you so much for your support,


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