Even though I was trained as a ballet dancer, I feel as though I hide it pretty well in the “real world.” I am not ballerina thin, I do not have striking turn out that comes through in my stride, I don’t always wear my hair in a perfect ballet bun, and I never go to a general education class with a leotard or tights showing. So you could imagine my surprise when today, as I gave a tour of my college campus, four different families asked me if I was a dancer.
Of course I replied yes, but after the first two families I was still bewildered at why that had been brought up. Had I accidentally left on my tights from ballet? Had I not taken my hair out of a bun? Then, the third family to comment gave it away. As I stood, waiting for the other tour guide to give away facts on the School of the Arts, a mom looked at me and said, “Lovely fifth position.”
I quickly looked down to find my feet in fifth position as if I were at the barre waiting to complete a tendu combination. My face immediately turned red and all I could help to think was “how often do I stand like this?” I thought it pretty funny, even though ballet isn’t my main studied discipline anymore, it still sticks with me. It kind of warmed my heart a little actually, knowing that something so important to me as a little girl stuck with me in college. A hobby that served as my home for all of those years has snuck its way into my college life to teach me that I can never forget my roots. I will be the first to judge a ballerina or a little girl fantasizing of being the Sugarplum Fairy, when in reality I was the biggest bunhead you could think of for at least 19 years.