24 February 2007

The Times takes up Ballet?

What is it with Times columnists taking up ballet? Today's paper has Harry Hurt sticking his toe in the studio, and Judith Warner started dancing a few months ago.

Hurt's piece made me nuts - I wanted to get out the red pencil. Let's start with the crazy irresponsibility of beginning ballet classes by attending New York City Ballet's company class - even if just pretense for the sake of an article. That is a sure way to get hurt. The way to start is to gently ease into basic ballet classes meant for adult beginners, at a place like Steps or Peridance or the 92nd Street Y. Then, the pieces was full of inaccuracies, like these:

  • Ballet slippers have elastics, not "ankle straps". They get sewn on across the instep.
  • The morning class is not a "workout" class - it's just class, or company class.
  • It's not a "ballet belt", it's a dance belt.

I don't read Warner's column very often, but that ballet piece struck a chord with me. Some number of years ago, I started ballet classes, and continued once or twice or three times a week for several years. It was wonderful - it was a time to think about nothing but where my feet were, what they were doing, how my arms and hands were behaving. The physical exercise was great, but the mind-clearing nature of the ballet class was the revelation - it's better than therapy for calming the brain and sweeping away the day's debris.


Anonymous said...

Funny how our own experiences require others to be exact. I'm the same way.

Anonymous said...

I love that you get worked up about things like this.

Anonymous said...

Oh my God, if I had read that article, I would have passed out. A ballet belt. Snort!