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.