Panda is tired tonight. It’s near the end of the week and this is her third dance class. She yawned the whole way to the studio, sighing, “I don’t think I can do this.”
I remember that feeling.
Twice a week, I would leave school early and take the train into the city, and then the M104 bus up to Carnegie Hall for ballet class. Some days, particularly February days, it was the last place I wanted to be. To an inner monologue of “I can’t do this, I’m so tired, I really don’t feel like doing this,” I would, like a robot, put up my hair, put on my shoes. I’d put my left hand on the barre, put my feet in first position…and just do it.
Just like Panda’s doing now. Little by little, the class is taking her. After opening tendus and plies, her little sweater gets peeled off, her bottom lip starts to twist in concentration, the gears are turning. She’s in the game.
And I remember that often, those days would turn out to be great classes. You took class, and class took you. You didn’t think you had it in you to do anything, but somehow you found your best.
Like Panda just found hers. And a double pirouette.