Boyfriend vs. Ballet

degas ballet classIt’s not that I don’t like ballet; it’s that ballet doesn’t like me.  Nonetheless, I decided a few weeks ago that it was time to get back to class.  So I purchased a ten-class card at Koresh, dug an old leotard out of the class and headed uptown.

I couldn’t even find my ballet slippers—that’s how long it’s been—but I figured it wouldn’t matter because the only people going to a Thursday morning class would be retired folk or housewives.

Well, I figured wrong.

I walked into the lobby and found myself in a sea of coffee-swigging professionals.  Amongst them was an old acquaintance from college—she was one of those students who took extra ballet classes for fun (whereas I calculated at the beginning of every semester how many ballet classes I could cut before it would affect my grade).

“Kat!” she exclaimed.  “So good to see you!”

My reaction was less enthusiastic.

My reaction was more along the lines of “Oh fuck.  You’re taking this class?”  So much for my retired folk…

But I got through it.  I was on the wrong foot half the time and could barely get my leg above a 90 degree angle in the adagio but I pulled off several rather nice double pirouettes towards the end of class and left thinking, “You know what?  I should do this again.”

So last Wednesday, I decided to do a double header: ballet at 6:00pm after I finished teaching my weekly beginner tap class and hip hop at 7:30.  I packed my bags, selected my very best ballet/hip hop outfit (no easy feat, I assure you) and drove over to the studio.

I could have gone to the tree lighting at the park around the corner instead and then straight to TWD’s house so that I’d arrive sometime before midnight but I was determined.

As I passed the park, however, my determination wavered.  Really?  I was going to go sweat my brains out for an hour and a half listening to some stranger lecturing me about my lack of turnout rather than going to cheer on my students at the tree lighting ceremony and enjoying dinner with my boyfriend afterward?


But like I said, I was determined.

So I zoomed past the park, past the marshmallow roasting and holiday cheer and kept driving.  I was running a few minutes behind schedule but I was already dressed and ready to go.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t taken into to account the parking situation in Center City on a weeknight.  Especially a weeknight during the holiday season.  I can always find parking near the studio when I teach there on Sundays but Wednesday nights are an entirely different situation.  I circled the block, headed over towards Vine St, circled back to towards Sansom.

It was 5:50.  Then it was 5:55.  Then it was 5:57.  And still I couldn’t find a damn place to park.

At 18, it wouldn’t have mattered.  I could dance without warming up back then.  But then I hurt my back, and then I turned 27 and now dancing without warming up is basically suicide.

Even so, I kept circling.  Maybe the teacher would be running late, maybe I could still make it… but then it was 5:59.

“Fuck it,” I announced.

I veered towards the train station and onto the highway.

Then I called TWD.

“Change in plans,” I said, “I’m on my way.”

“Oh, okay.  That’s good!”

“No it’s not good.  I’m in my fucking leotard and everything!  Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve worn a leotard?”


“A while!  It’s been a while!”

I then drove the 90 minutes to TWD’s house with my tights wedging themselves into my crotch, sweating my brains out even though I wasn’t in class because I was wearing approximately six layers of warm up gear.

I arrive irritated and hungry.

TWD, however, was eager to see me in my leotard.

A little too eager.

Leotards, it turns out, are good for more than just ballet.  In fact, judging by TWDs reaction, I can stop wasting money on sexy underwear.

10 Responses to “Boyfriend vs. Ballet”

  1. becky119

    Guys can almost always be counted on to appreciate skin-tight clothing. I almost wish I stuck with ballet when I was younger, but my brother (whom I idolized at the time) wanted to do karate and I had to make a choice. I might be more limber presently if I had chosen differently. I don’t know…is ballet something that you can take up in your mid-twenties without killing yourself? Might be fun…I am trying to find a way to workout on a regular basis, maybe I need something fun so it doesn’t feel so much like work? Thoughts?

    • Kat Richter

      Yes! You can definitely start late, as long as you have realistic expectations about it and don’t mind being a bit sore after your first few classes 🙂 I’d say try to find a beginner class that is NOT full of intimidating former dancer/bunhead types. That will definitely make for a more pleasant experience.

  2. Landlord

    I never did ballet either, and found an adult class when I was in my 20’s, (never taken any dance classes) It was fun, but kinda intimidating. Although it was supposedly an adult beginner ballet, there were plenty of folks who had taken classes as young people so they did have an advantage. But I would say, check the class out and see if it is for you. It is a nice way to stretch and such, but as for fun, I’d stick with Zumba 🙂

    • Kat Richter

      This reminds me: there is the new exercise program called Barre Fit or Ballet Barre Fit or something like that. It’s kind of like yoga+pilates+Body Pump+Ballet (at least that’s my interpretation based on the photos I’ve seen,,,). There are several places in Philly that offer it.

        • Kat Richter

          I would give it a try and see how you feel. If you’re dancing at a more recreational level (i.e. not en pointe) you should be okay. Ballet and tap are definitely amongst the more ankle-intense dance forms but you can always invest in a wrap or brace to reduce the risk of injury.

          • becky119

            Hmm…I’m very tempted to try this out now. Especially because Adam said he’d pay for it. 🙂 Any recommendations as to where to go? Preferrably somewhere close to public transportation, which is almost everywhere in the city.

            • Kat Richter

              I’d say to give Koresh a shot (in fact, I’m planning to go to Beginner Ballet on Wednesday night) but you can also check out for listings of basically every dance class in the city.


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