This edition of Member Stories is written by Roma Prudente, a Boomerang member. Member stories is a series where members share their unique experiences with Boomerang. Interested in sharing your story? Reach out to Alex here.
“Life is the dancer, and you are the dance.” (Echhart Tolle)
Sometime in the middle of year 2 of the pandemic, a friend asked me if I was still interested in ballet classes. I’ve wanted to take ballet since I was a child after watching performances on TV as they danced gracefully across the stage telling amazing stories and taking me to magical places with their movement. But alas, the cost was prohibitive then and in adulthood as well.
I put my ballet dreams on the back burner and got on with life. As my friend told me about the new affordable Ballet class starting in July 2021 through Boomerang, my heart started beating so fast I thought it would jump out of my chest.
Afterward, I pirouetted, albeit awkwardly, towards my computer to register. Many beginner ballet classes are geared towards young, serious dancers whose careers are headed for the stage so, at age 55, I was closer to retirement. But that first class reminded me of the sheer joy of doing something simply for the fun of it and how fortunate I was to be able to fulfil a lifelong dream.
With ballet, I tap into creativity as my body tells a story without words, expresses emotions through movement, and feels the music as it guides each step. During the early months, there were moves and poses that I couldn’t do well but sheer determination to master them motivated me to keep trying.
I began to gain confidence the more classes I attended. And when I conquer one of the moves, positive endorphins flood my body improving my overall well-being. There’s no denying ballet is fantastic for the whole body.
As my body became stronger and more flexible, I gained greater control over my muscles and my body adapted more easily to the choreography. My memory has improved as I learned different routines. I have greater stamina and endurance leading to better cardiovascular health. Even my posture, despite my swayback, is better.
With ballet, balance is crucial and mine isn’t where I want it to be. My hips are out of alignment making it difficult to balance properly so it’s something I will always have to work on but I’m ok with that.
Looking back over the last year, ballet has allowed me to find gracefulness again. It seeped into other areas of my life too, pointing out how I can overcome any obstacle with hard work and perseverance. It’s taught me to be more mindful because in ballet you must focus and concentrate intently on what you’re doing. I’ve also noticed a reduction in stress that lasts long after the class is over.
It fosters a positive attitude and builds my confidence in knowing I can learn a new skill. Trying a new fitness class like ballet doesn’t mean things will always come easy but keep going and don’t get discouraged is key. Botching a move in front of the class happens to everyone but the ability to laugh at yourself is actually good for your health.
Some tips I like to keep in mind are ensuring a longer warm-up, taking time to heal from injuries which are crucial because stiffness and soreness are ok but pain is not.
Ballet is part of my self-care routine and I look forward to dancing each week.
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