Stay-At-Home Wife Hits The Barre?


I'm having that post-PCS Now What? moment.  The house is settled.  I applied for every job in North Carolina. I met people. I Pintrested myself into glue gun heaven. I Netflixed me into Dr. Who territory.  I read myself cross-eyed.  I cooked and cleaned myself out of my mind.  Now I'm restless.  What else can you do during your stay-at-home wife years?

Then it hit me... take a class!  I thought of practical choices like more college courses, starting another degree, getting out there to do something... but nothing was resonating. So practical turned into ideal... how about ballet?

 I didn't do a lot of sports as a kid. I was a theatre nerd with not much coordination. I can't sing and didn't dance much.  But why not ballet? In my theatre high school we had to take a beginners ballet class (which they kindly named "Movement for Actors" so we wouldn't feel too badly about ourselves) and I enjoyed it. Maybe it was time to get back to the barre.  It could be something fun and new and artsy, just what I needed.

I blogged about it briefly and another North Carolina Milspouse Blogger expressed interest in joining. We found a studio with a decent price for classes and decided to go for it, but we needed supplies. A leotard, tights and of course every woman's favorite, shoes. Luckily there was a dance store in town so I was able to drop a nice bit of money at a local business... you're welcome... and came away with my goods. Now just to wait for the class to start.

Last week I got a phone call Monday afternoon saying class would start tomorrow night. A little short notice, but it was good, it gave me only about twenty-four hours to feel like a nervous wreck. All day Tuesday I felt like a kid getting ready for the first day of school. Would it be fun? Would the other students be nice? Oh god, would they be prima ballerinas coming out of retirement?? Are my shoes ok? Luckily my husband is a patient man and listened to my worries with only the tiniest of smirks on his face.

Then the time came to leave for class. My hair was up in a bun, leotard was on (covered by shorts and a t-shirt) and I was ready to go. I get halfway down the street and turned around; I forgot my shoes. I raced back into the house and found them on the toaster oven. Got halfway down the street again and realized I forgot my check. I hit every red light on the main road. Then my iPhone map got me lost. I was a wreck, texting my friend how I was panicking and going to be late. I finally found the building and ran inside to see two other students. I raced back to the car.  I forgot my shoes.  By the time I returned our class was a total of five students, counting myself. Not bad!

The teacher started calling out French words. I realized everyone else had obviously taken ballet as children (or even up through adulthood). They knew what the teacher meant when she said, "Ok, Tendu/Degegge in first position. 3 tendu front, demi plie, 3 side demi plie, 3 back, plie, rise to releve."

I knew what first position was and I was pretty sure plie meant bending your knees. Even as she showed us (in fast forward) what we were about to do, I realized everyone else was nodding along as if it made perfect sense. Oh crud.

The next hour went in a similar fashion. Lots of French words, a quick example, then try it with the music. I stared very hard at the girl on the barre in front of me and tried to follow along. Sometimes I got it.  Sometimes I didn't. When the teacher wanted us to do jumps I nearly turned and ran, but mercifully she let us go across the floor in groups. I was awkward, uncoordinated, a beat behind and sweatier than I had been since we moved into the house in 95 degree heat.

And I was loving it.

I know I will not be a prima ballerina. Age 24 is a bit late to be a Sugar Plum Fairy, but I am still enjoying myself. I am out of the house, meeting new people, and trying something new. That was all I wanted in the first place. I have something to distract myself from the dismal job search and something to look forward to besides the weekend. So as I sit here with my ballet shoes on and YouTube videos primed and ready for me to practice so I can keep up.  I can't wait to go back to class and try again.


What new thing would you want to try? Or go  back to? Give it a whirl!

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