Thursday, March 26, 2009

Expression

Ever since I can remember, I've always loved ballet, and dance in general. Perhaps one of the reasons is because I began going to see Ballet West perform at the tender age of three. Even then, the beauty and grace of movement utterly transfixed me... and still does to this day.

image: © Pascal Molliere

When I was young, I was in a dance class for awhile. I enjoyed it, but became distracted by other, more childish things. So I quit for awhile to pursue other interests. Then, when I was about eleven or twelve, I really wanted to dance again. I enrolled in a dance class with some friends and enjoyed it... but I had become too self-conscious of my body movement, of the thought of people watching me. I convinced myself that I was not good enough to dance... something that was cemented in my brain after trying out for a competitive dance school and not making it. I think my shyness prevented me from letting my body just feel the movement. Perhaps I should have kept at it, but I simply let my dream blur into the background.

At times I get frustrated because I cannot express myself in this way, through this form. Sometimes I ardently wish that I had never quit dancing and worked harder, etc. But, in all honestly, I don't think my body was blessed with the natural inclination to dance (though, I will say that a former college roommate who was a modern dancer said I had amazing turn out, te hee). My sister seemed to be endowed with all abilities athletically based, and where her body was graceful and strong, mine was more awkward and stiff. Some of this, I am certain had to do with our personalities. (For she had no fear and I feared everything.)

But something hit me today. Something that I hadn't really thought about before. There is a part of my body that was meant to dance, the only part that was blessed with a natural inclination for movement and form...

my fingers.

It's a gift I have unfortunately taken for granted, one that I hope I can somehow reclaim. You see I began piano lessons at the age of six. And it was something that I stuck with, throughout my childhood and adolescence. My fingers have truly danced over the keys... communicating Beethoven's Pathetique and Moonlight Sonatas... pieces by Mozart, Chopin and Bach. It was the only time throughout my "shy years" where I could fully express myself to others.

At times I feel that I did not properly appreciate this gift. And as my fingers have sat idle for so long, there are times when they long for the cold contact of piano keys... for the freeing movement of a technically proficient piece. They long for the ability to express the feelings and thoughts of their proprietor.

This is my dance. And this is where I find joy. I only hope I haven't lost it forever.



4 comments:

torileigh said...

I seem to remember some rather spectacular dancing...that took place on/with chairs!!

lauren said...

hahaha, touche. except that, by the way that's phrased, i wouldn't be surprised if somebody thought we used to be strippers. or a part of the backstreet boys. shrug.

Aaron and Ashley Walker said...

This post was great. I was at a dance performance last night thinking about how I wished I had stuck with dance. I would also start taking a dance class and then stop. I probably did that like four or five times. I like what you said about the piano being your form of expression. Well, keep up the blogs, I enjoy both of them! Oh, and thanks for the comment on my blog!

Kenna said...

This post is indeed great. I too admit that I would have loved to be a dancer, but my body just didn't understand how to move that way. Therefore I became a soccer player...because I am good at running into people.

I'm certain you haven't lost your talent, although you might have to unearth it a bit.

I would like to hear you play someday, seriously.