Happy Birthday to me.

Last night I spent the evening of my 26th birthday at ballet.
By choice.
And I regret nothing.
Our teacher wasn’t feeling well, so we had one of the principals subbing. As horrible as it sounds, I was glad to not have our regular teacher on my birthday. And I was excited to have someone new; a fresh outlook and viewpoint.
The way I can describe Heidi is sunshine embodied.
I mean, she would sing the moves as she demonstrated them.
She’s always smiling and happy and you’re looking at her like, “How in the world can you have so much pep after doing such a complicated combination flawlessly? Followed by, “This is why you’re a principal.”
She’s one of those that can bust out this badass, hard core, impressive move, then top it off with a giggle like, “This is nothing, but I dare you to double cross me. I’ll shank you. Hehehe.”

I love having different teachers, because they each notice different things. Heidi was adamant about your feet “talking.” What she means, is that you use each and every muscle and roll through your feet properly. No cheating and just popping into it. Her feet were so ballet beautiful that it made you want to do what she said; she proved what she said works.
It made me want to work harder and practice more. I want so badly for my house to be done so I can have the room to practice and stretch and work on all of these things at home. It’s hard not to get frustrated when you know you can be better if you just had the opportunity. I’m still trying to figure out ways to make what I have work.

Heidi teaches a lyrical class after our ballet class on Monday’s, and she and Ms Munro offered all of us to stay.

I thought, “What the heck? What better way to spend my birthday other than dancing?”
So my friend Hanna and I stayed.
I was honest when they asked me at first, and said, “I’m scared.” It didn’t come off as weak, it came off as blunt, and that was perfect. She asked the other girls what I could expect, and what they said was, “It makes you come out of your comfort zone.” To which I replied, “Oh, I don’t really have a comfort zone anymore.” Which is partly true.
I don’t. I’m constantly trying to press myself to try new things; to stop wishing on the sidelines and take the opportunities I’m given. I’ve always wanted to do lyrical, I know I have never done this before, but what better time than now? What better place than one where they understand that I’ve never done this?
She wasn’t concerned if I was good or did things well, she wanted me to try. She is the type that can read you without you saying a word, and she was kind enough to instruct me without calling attention to it. This is the sign of a great teacher; a great leader.

We began, and I closed my eyes. Fear is your biggest demise, and I knew that if I could just face it, I would be successful.
After all, dance isn’t all about being perfect, it’s about heart.

I know I was well behind all the other girls, especially the little super flexible ones. But you know, that’s okay.
At the end, we broke up into groups and made up our own movement with certain stipulations. We went first, I kept up, it went really well. And as I sat there and watched the other groups, I reflected back on my life and my dance history.
How I’ve only been dancing 3 years next month.
How I was in a car wreck I still have nerve damage from.
How I’ve been sick for 10+ years for reasons still unknown.
How I’m 24, 25, 26 and behind 12, 13,14,15,16, etc year olds.

How all these things used to hold me back, but here I am trying something new. Here I am, saying, “Screw you, excuses.” And trying something I’ve always wanted to do.
Breaking down those invisible barriers telling me I can’t and shouting, “WATCH ME.”
I may not be any good, but I’m free. I’m trying, and as long as I try I will grow.
I wanted to be able to do the shoulder roll over thing, and the heel click thing, and I wish I had the room at home to try them since I didn’t have the confidence to at dance, but I’ll get there. Part of me wishes I would have tried, but part of me knows I have to be realistic with my stomach, and that being there doing what I did was enough for the first day.

This morning I saw bruised knees, and I smiled.
Proof that I’m trying.
Proof that I’m facing my fears.

(Happy Birthday, Ms. Heidi.)


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