Saturday, 21 February 2015

A Couple of Reasons Why I'm Not a Ballerina

A friend forwarded a video of his daughter dancing.  She is a bona fide ballerina having spent many years training and working in New York.  I'm captivated by her performance but it is not the beautiful leaps and toe stands that intrigue me.  I'm in love with her hand movements.  She appears to have longer than average arm-span and her hands at the ends move like tiny angels, fluttering, waving, flourishing, signalling.  I replay the video several times just to watch what those hands convey to me. Imagine going through life with hands so lovely and expressive.  Sort of like the girls on Price is Right or even Vanna White. 
I wonder about her feet though.  Ballerinas, I've read, have ugly feet from the extreme beating they take, and often require elaborate wrappings to protect them from pain and aches.  I've read a ballerina can tell if she has gained as little as an ounce; weight and the look of the bodys' bones are so important to the dance.  I think of the Black Swan and her poached egg for breakfast and Karen Kain and her story of a life of anorexia and bulimia to fit into the tutu.
So many reasons I could never be a ballerina.  My hands are so average and I suspect my fingers are shorter than they should be for proper proportion, my knuckles too pronounced... I'm a person who has never missed a meal in my life (a lie, I think I missed supper once in the mid 80's because I had strep throat, but I remember sipping beef broth before going to sleep).  I can't imagine the level of self-deprivation and devotion the love of that particular dance seems to demand.  I guess that's why we absolutely adore ballerinas and their beautiful fluttery fingers.