There is a wonderful blog called Grown-Ups at the Barre and when I saw it, I instantly fell in love with the concept, the collaborative effort and different points of views from various contributors. (Not to mention it’s a fun name with a great-looking graphic on the home page.) They have allowed me to chime in, as well, and I used the opportunity to ponder the following question: what sends grown-ups to the barre? Or the music stand, the easel, the stage?
I’m in a ballet class that has mixed levels, mixed ages, and I like the mix a lot. I do wonder about my middle-aged adult comrades there. Did their youthful selves harbor an extraordinary dream, an artistic impulse, way back when? Feelings and illusions that were, perhaps, crushed by life’s realities in adulthood, and yet are now renewed?
Allow me to share an excerpt from my article:
“We grown-ups at the barre all fall into one of a few categories. There are those like myself, who danced when we were younger, stopped for a while, and understood, only later, that we needed to return. Others of us are there because we didn’t do it when we were younger, due to circumstances beyond our control, even though we’d longed to. Then there is a third category, those who never even considered doing it in their youth, due to other obligations, or body type, or gender, and now, in this more evolved, actualized adult state, we realize that no one is going to stop us, or harshly judge us, or point and snicker. A powerful understanding kicks in: as an adult in a recreational ballet class, anything goes. Anything. How liberating.”
I’m not an adult beginner in ballet. And yet, I am an adult beginner on the violin. (I sense I will always think of myself as a beginner on the violin, seven years into the game. It’s that difficult for me.) And I, therefore, now want to pose the same question to adults who play the violin, either after a long hiatus or, like myself, are commencing the practice as adults. Or adults who have taken up tap class. Or water color. Or ceramics. Or parasailing. Or belly dancing. Or… well, you get the idea. Adults who are embracing surprising new opportunities.
What drives us, we crazy adults, who’ve decided we’re not going to let age and stereotypes dictate what we will or won’t do, particularly in artistic endeavors? I’m sure everyone’s got their own story. I’d love to hear each and every one of them.
And in the meantime, I hope you’ll consider checking out the rest of my story: http://grown-up-ballet.blogspot.fi/2013/08/what-sends-grown-ups-to-barre.html
And here — because I know you’re click-on-link hungry and want to click more, more, more — are my violin-flavored musings on the very same subject, posted over at Violinist.com: http://www.violinist.com/blog/Terez/20138/14919/ . Others are sharing their stories there, as well, which is always great fun to read. Come join us there!
© 2013 Terez Rose