If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that My goal is to get on pointe. Not just get on pointe, but to eventually succeed on pointe. I started back in dance at the age of 23 with the goal of getting on pointe by 25–two years.
Now, in the moment, two years seemed like forever and felt impossible. Almost as if it would never get here. It felt as though I wanted it so badly that there’s no way it was possible.
I was scared.
I was taught wrong, pigeon-toed, hyper extended, (without knowing how to use it.) had no knowledge of the actual ballet terminology–in short, I was in way over my head.
But, you have to start somewhere.
I kept going, despite getting in a car accident a few weeks after my first class.
Despite being diagnosed with arthritis in my knee.
Despite physical therapy sessions.
Despite doctors telling me my foot isn’t broken, but I should probably stay off of it.
Despite sunburns and fevers.
I kept going.
Last September, I told Jilissa about my goal. I asked her if she thought it was possible. Her reaction made it clear that I’ll have to work hard if I want to try and make that goal. I was able to get into two classes a week, helping me accelerate. I looked up dance videos, I practiced, I started walking after work with a lilttle cardio mixed in to try and at least do something more.
After summer’s first class, Jilissa issued us a challenge of sorts. Telling us directly that she wouldn’t put me up on pointe if we didn’t plie, keep our heels down, and get our spot down.
I worked hard. Coming in early to practice pique turns, stretching extra, standing turned out whenever I can. Anything I could think of.
I started looking into a gym membership, but I was clueless about what to do when I got there, where to go, etc. I asked Sarah T for some help with this since she was doing a ballet boot camp with us. She recommended a gym and helped give me the confident nudge I needed.
I got a membership and started going every day that I could after work.
I knew our last class of summer was really important. We needed to show improvement if we wanted any hope of getting on pointe in the fall. Make it or break it time.
Of course, this was the day that my equilibrium was thrown off. I couldn’t seem to get a spot to save my life, even though I knew I had before. And even if I wasn’t getting it exactly, I was definitely improved. But was it enough?
I had mentally prepared myself that I may have to wait until January. What about my bucket list? I guess it would still be okay because I would be 25. It could still count, right?
At the end of the pointe class, Jilissa looked around the class and said, “Before we end class, I need to see Hannah, Isla.” about a second and a half passed and my mind raced with a million thoughts and emotions. This was it. This is the moment. This is the moment it all has boiled down to. I had no clue what would happen.
I was numb.
“…and Emilee. The rest of y’all, if you’re not staying for advanced, have a great break and we’ll see you in two weeks!”
She said my name. Oh my gosh, she said my name.
You would have thought I had auditioned for a leading role in a prestigious company or something. And even thought we hadn’t been told what she wanted to see us for, we all knew.
Or at least, we hoped.
“We’re going to be gone for two weeks. Then we have two weeks before labor day. Those two weeks, I want y’all to stay on flat shoes to get you back into the swing of things. But before labor day, I’ll give y’all your permission slips to get your pointe shoes.”
We all tried to contain our excitement. Act cool, girls. Just act cool.
“Now don’t just do nothing these two weeks. You don’t want to lose everything you’ve worked so hard for this summer. Do your releves, degeges, your toe exercises. Make sure you’re stretching every day. Every day.”
We thanked her and went into the hallway where everyone else was.
Then we freaked out with excitement.
I did it.
I did it.
I made my goal.
My hard work paid off.
I know it’s gonna be painful, I know the work and dedication has just begun.
But I did it.
And we get our permission slips 2 weeks before my 25th birthday.
I did it.
Motivation. Dedication. Hard work. Lots of sweat and tears.
The Lord showing me life lessons all along the way. Showing me that I am capable of doing this. That He is in me and that makes me able. That the Holy Spirit is inside of me and He is the author of all creativity. Therefore, I could do this simply because of Him being in me.
It’s a wonderful thing.
I am so excited.
I just want to keep improving. I want to get better. I want more flexibility, more strength, more improvement.
This is just the beginning.