What the body knows

I think my right hip feels something my head doesn’t remember. Twice since I’ve started yoga, poses that open up that part of the body have started to feel intensely emotional. It’s always been a tight area, half as mobile as the left side. When this feeling of sorrow started to pull at me, I thought about breathing and tried to let go, let it open, and I could feel the edge of tears just underneath.

After the second time I mentioned it to my teacher. She said it happens to her, sometimes even when she’s teaching. She believes the hips hold on to all sorts of things that come out when it’s stretched open again.

I’ve been to two ballet classes at OBT now, and I’m planning to try a modern class at Conduit tonight. Even just this little bit of dance again has dredged up all sorts of old memories and hurts. I discovered that I’m still angry at my mother for pulling me out of ballet at 13 because she didn’t have money for it and maybe thought I was trying to do too many activities anyhow. I’m hurt that when I auditioned for the Nutcracker at age 7 and didn’t get in she told me that it was probably because I didn’t fit the costumes they already had, because afterward I thought that meant I was big and overweight (not the stringbean I see when I look at childhood pictures now).

Starting ballet classes at 11 in a class full of 6 year olds, again I felt enormous and awkward. And a few years later, my mother telling me I didn’t really have the traditional ballet body, again just made me feel worse. I don’t think it matters, that young. Even 13 is too early to have to think about your professional potential, rather than just doing what you love.

In college I started dance again, but I was so overwhelmed with other things that I couldn’t focus on it, even though there was a good opportunity to do so.

So now I can’t think about dance classes without remembering all of these other things. How much I’ve wanted to do it, ever since I was little, and all these times I ended up feeling blocked and unable. It’s all stored somewhere, in my tight right hip and wiggly toes and who knows where else. But I have good dance memories in there too.

I feel really silly for wanting to take gobs of dance classes now, especially when I don’t have much work/income at the moment and it’s on top of the yoga and Pilates I’m already doing, and I think it’s awfully late to even consider pondering something like this now… But so long as I can scrape up the cash, I’ll give in. Even just for the summer. Then I’ll see how my body feels.

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