Living the Dream

Madeleine Eastoe and Robert Curran dance Swan Lake for the Australian Ballet*

When I was a little girl I wanted to be a ballerina. I danced in front of the TV, I danced to my sisters’ Beatles and Monkees singles, I danced in the back garden and staged elaborate concerts for my parents. I even won a twist competition when I was a pre-schooler. I went to physio-culture, I had Highland Dancing classes for about 10 years and still have all my ribbons and medals won at competitions. I can Tap dance and I’m pretty good at Jazz Ballet, but I never learnt ballet.

Madeleine Eastoe's signed Pointe Shoes

I love ballet. I go to all the Australian Ballet performances, most of the Sydney Dance Company’s and the Bangarra Dance Company’s performances and any other dance that comes along in Sydney, but the hankering to dance myself has never left me.

My Ballet shoes

Last year I started going to Zumba classes at my local gym, which reminded me how much joy dancing brings me, but it wasn’t enough. I decided to start ballet lessons. After a bit of Google searching I found some adult ballet classes on Sydney’s lower North Shore and nervously went to my first class the day before my 48th birthday.

At the barre*

It was like I’d found a part of me that had been missing. And that’s not just the muscles that ached for days afterwards. In the dusty church hall, I was living my dream. It doesn’t matter that I will never be a Principal Artist with the Australian Ballet, every Friday morning for an hour and a half, I dance and my soul sings.

Yes, it’s fantastic for you physically and mentally, but the emotional pay-off of allowing myself to fulfill a long-cherished dream, regardless of my age, has been wonderful. Sometimes in the rush to nurture all those around us, we forget to nourish our own souls. The dreams we have as children are often the ones that are closest to our core and the ones we are least likely to listen to, but I’m very glad I didn’t give up on mine.

* Images courtesy of The Australian Ballet.

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9 thoughts on “Living the Dream

  1. Which one were you in that Youtube clip Jennifer? (LOL Just kidding.) I loved ballet as a child and even completed my first exams signed by Dame Margot Fonteyne. The sporting gene took over, which pretty much took over my life until well into my 20’s. It’s so great that you’re living your dream. Doesn’t matter what age you are. (Listen to me. I should take some of my own advice. LOL) How lovely for you.

    Anne xx

  2. OMG I have aching muscles from a week at work hunched over a computer. Not sure if I could drag myself around a ballet class but maybe I should! However I am about to drag myself onto the cross trainer. Why do I think it may not be as much fun? Well done. Love the post and looking forward to the new ballet season.

    Heather xo

  3. Jennifer, this is wonderful! I took ballet from 6 to 13 but stopped short of going en pointe. Now, with the help of yoga I can touch my hands to the floor in front of me again but I still think ballet is the loveliest thing out there. Good for you for going back, I’m so impressed!

  4. How lovely and what a great way to exercise as well. A mum at school does ballet here and she also just adores it. Good for you. I’m intrigued to hear of the highland dancing (how tiring is that?) and other dancing but not ballet as a child.

    Take it easy and hope you and your little lass enjoy the holidays if you have them.

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