Tonight I went for a walk at dusk among the emerald trees of central park, fragrant with sweet hidden flowers and accessorized with fireflies: details that added to the beauty. Our cool rainy spring has repaid Manhattan with roses and the beauty of their details. They make me think of tutus.
Last night I went to see American Ballet Theatre’s production of Swan Lake with a group of friends and students. We basked in the glorious beauty of the incredible corps de ballet and Hee Seo’s flawless performance. Each tiny delicate detail adding layers of nuance, down to her leg fluttering in battu, showing the nervousness of Odette dancing with the Prince for the first time.
When we first start learning ballet each movement is very generalized. Over time we learn to straighten our legs, point our feet, turn out. We connect to our core, learn the nuances of bringing our arms through first position, the tilt of our head, the reach of the hands, the timing of a move. We get stronger and more flexible and our legs reach an inch higher, then two inches higher. We are like sculptors working with clay except we are the statue and we work the clay from the inside out.
We learn that these seemingly little details are in fact what makes the dance, and that each tiny improvement builds on each other, improving our confidence and stamina and even our posture. Every minuscule win is a big deal.
When we choose to follow our dreams, it is also big deal. Any decision to more fully embrace who we are in the world and become the best version of our selves that we can become is a huge deal. Maybe that means a giant step like moving halfway across the globe to pursue your dreams. Maybe it means you inspire us all and come out to your family, and friends and world. (Happy Pride day!) Or maybe it’s a tiny little (great big) thing like embracing that you want to dance ballet and coming to ballet class. Deciding to try takes courage. It all takes facing fear. You can do it, one infinitesimal petal at a time, you can bloom.
*Photo by Ruth Nightengale who grew and photographed her roses in her backyard.
**I just got published! If you like what you read here, please check out my first published essay here in Ducts.org.