I’ve always danced to the beat of my own drum. This was never clearer to me (and many spectators) than during my Grade Two ballet exam… when you really should dance to the music that’s actually playing.
I’ve always considered myself more lucky than talented and more doggedly persistent than naturally ballerina-ery. Grade Two enforced this belief. It’s a bouncy class that requires more turn out, and slightly more co-ordination, than Grade One. It’s also danced by nine year olds.
I’m almost 28.
This was the official dance we had to have memorised. I’m convinced the boyfriend would tell you that’s not what he saw me doing in our lounge.
In a way, the exam was doomed to failure (I was doomed to fail the exam?) from the start. My turn out is best described as ‘slightly less than parallel’, and on a good day ‘marginally duck footed’. Potatoes thrown down a hill have more natural rhythm than I do. And my memory isn’t exactly a sieve, but it certainly can be compared to Swiss cheese. Who woulda thunk that remembering the moves is a big part of ballet?
Everyone else, it seems. I blame the nerves for my holier-than-normal brain, but actually my memory is tightly packed with plot lines of TV shows and all the character’s names from Game of Thrones, and just doesn’t have room for non-essentials like the names of people at work, my PIN number (I’ve had two credit cards blocked) and dance moves.
During one critical point during my Big Dance I suddenly and completely forgot which direction I was supposed to hop, and threw a panicked look at the judge. She jerked her head to the left and I made an awkward about-turn and started hopping towards the opposite corner in what I hoped was an elegant fashion and not, as I suspected, the more crude ‘there are Legos on the floor’ manner.
Let’s just say I’m hoping for 51%.