Two years, 5 months. That’s how long I’ve been dancing. 155 classes. I know this because I’m a (former) distance cyclist and still write down every workout. It’s a habit I can’t break. I started dancing at the youthful age of 38. Now I’m 41, and I’m looking in the mirror for the first time in 3 months. It’s terrifying. My tights are cutting me in half and my leo is struggling to hold everything in place. It’s terrifying, but it’s honest.
Years of physical activity and a healthy diet didn’t prepare me for this. For what would happen if I took some time off. If for a couple months I didn’t have time to go to the studio, and spent dinners shoving a sandwich in to my mouth instead of steaming broccoli. It didn’t prepare for the stress eating and too many glasses of wine I would inhale while managing my husband’s run for political office. I wasn’t prepared for this.
But here I stand, assessing the damage. Terrified that I’ve forgotten everything (are my feet too fat for my slippers? Do my legwarmers make my legs look like sausages?). The studio is cool. It’s November. My last class was on September 9th, and it was hot and sticky. When did the weather change?
I rest my hands lightly on the barre, and look in the mirror. Stretch my feet. Attempt a shallow demi-plié. So far so good. The teacher walks in. Not just any teacher, my first teacher. The one I go back to when I’m feeling insecure, or need a little encouragement. The one who was there for my very first class. The one who said “Of course you can dance.”
The music starts and I take one last look in the mirror. Of course I can dance. The music starts and I feel it in my heart, and I dance. It’s good to be back.
- Lori Trublood