…the ugly duckling

It’s April. And this month is certainly one of new beginnings. I will in a couple of weeks start work at a new contemporary dance centre, one that hopes to have a strong international presence and collaborative projects.

It’s a lot of different kinds of skills training involved, and I will be a part of the resident faculty. I am looking forward to the joy and challenges of working with dancers and performers in Kolkata. I know I will learn alot from the experience as I hope they do. More details about this centre will be posted soon. Today I am in a different space though, it’s a classroom eight summers ago in  June 2006 at HKAPA where I did my first ballet class.

I didn’t have the shoes or the tights, a leotard or the pretty silk skirts the other girls wore. But I boldly stepped in and ask if I could take a ballet class, even though I hadn’t been in such a formal setting before. This was a part of the summer dance festival. The teacher smiled, her face glowing, Deborah from South Africa, said ‘Of course you can join.’

It was a class filled with scary moments, as I was unfamiliar with all the different  ballet terms. Rudiments. Somehow this word seems to describe how my body felt. Undeveloped, finding a new understanding of how joints and limbs could move together, with this airy,graceful,elegant, effortless feeling of ballerina. I think I probably sat out halfway through the centre work, but I stayed right through the barre work. I remember being fascinated with the mechanics of a rond de jambe en l’air, though my legs weren’t quite working the way I wanted them too. Smiles. I’m glad I stayed through that class, and many more ballet classes that were to follow.

I’m so grateful to all my different dance technique teachers today,  A big thank you for your patience and encouragement while I studied with you and  the inspiring dedication and commitment you showed in what you do.  I hold dearly the knowledge you shared with me,and I hope to pass this on with integrity to those seeking to find…Many blessings, as we continue the journey.

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