I always loved to dance, but was a sickly kid, so my mother withdrew me from dance lessons. I came back as an adult beginner to ballet class in my early 20s. Though never great, I truly enjoyed it. I have a wonderful sense of rhythm, can dance modern and “pop” very well, but enjoyed the language and technique of ballet.
After moving to Chicago in 1978, I sought out friend John’s Harvard suite mate Aaron. He was now out of the closet, and not interested in meeting with me, but did give me the excellent tip to take class at the Ruth Paige Dance Studio. I am in his debt for that information. I took class there every Saturday morning. It was a rigorous class and attracted a serious crowd, from ages 27 to 78. We took our lesson seriously each week.
A ballet class, regardless of the level, goes through the same basic routine, beginning with work at the barre for flexibility and foot and leg speed, followed by series of short floor combinations, where groups move across the floor, and ends by stretching back at the barre. We always end class with “reverance”; bowing to the teacher. The class was just advanced enough that I had to pay close attention so that I didn’t land on my ass! It required skill and discipline and was a great distraction from the pace of the work week, which for me extended into Sunday, when I would do paperwork. Saturday was my only day just for me. I really loved that class and found it was also great exercise and good for my posture.
Upon returning to Boston, I began an evening class at Boston Ballet, walking from my Back Bay condo to their building in the South End. In 1979, the area was not yet gentrified, as it is today. That also was an excellent class and I danced my heart out. It was still mild as I walked home alone along Clarendon St. putting on only blue jeans over my tights, with my dance bag slung over my shoulder. As dusk crept over the city, I walked past a bar with several men hanging around outside. I quickened my step, but one whistled at me. Perhaps he was the first rapper, as he said, “You may be small leather, but you’re well put-together”. Almost 40 years later, it now sounds almost poetic and sort of funny, but at the time I was truly frightened and fear of future encounters ended my ballet lessons for good.
Retired from software sales long ago, two grown children. Theater major in college. Singer still, arts lover, involved in art museums locally (Greater Boston area). Originally from Detroit area.