Unbeknownst to many VMAC + Cheese readers, in my past life, before all the food and the wine and the writing, I danced.
I began taking dance lessons at the age of 3, when my parents brought me to a small weekly class at a community recreation center. There I was free to prance around in a pink leotard and scratchy tutu along with 10 other toddlers, feeling as graceful as a swan and ready to take ABT by storm. Class consisted first of us walking then running across the room as delicately as we could, and finished with us standing in the center, lithely moving our feet into ballet positions. I was hooked.
I danced for the next 13 years, until I was 16 and decided that I’d better focus on school and extracurricular activities if I ever wanted to make it into a good school. So I stopped with the lessons. As the last 8 years have passed, my once strong muscles have atrophied away, my turnout has disappeared, and I can barely do one pirouette, much less 3 or 4.
Throughout college and even recently, I’ve mostly gotten exercise from the typical hamster machines — a few minutes here and there on the elliptical or treadmill, along with some situps to get me by. And hot damn, if it isn’t BORING. In the last six months, I’d been considering putting on some dance shoes again, but wasn’t too serious about it.
But with all this winemaking, and seeing and tasting things I would’ve never dreamed of having access to, I’ve been totally inspired to get out there and pursue those little things that I know I’m interested in devoting my time to. I mean, if I can learn how to make wine, and get a culinary degree, and even get published, what’s stopping me from doing anything else that I dream about??
So last week, I found an adult dance center here in the city, which offers all levels of ballet instruction, as well as jazz, lyrical and hip hop. Today I marched my un-toned tush down to San Francisco Dancewear, and purchased a new pair of soft soled ballet slippers and some leggings (save my tap shoes, all my previous dancewear and footwear seems to have gone missing…though I must confess, I doubt I’d fit into any of it).
Tonight, for the first time in many, many years, I sewed elastic into dance shoes. It was a good feeling.
Reader, the best advice I can give you is to follow your dreams in life. It’s scary, and certainly requires ample amounts of soul searching along the way, but at the end of the day, it’s among the most exhilarating and fulfilling choices you can make for yourself. Just remember that the easiest path is rarely the most interesting. Take a chance on yourself…you’ll be surprised what you can do.