My ballet recital is this weekend. Yes, you read that right. I’m an almost forty year old woman participating in a ballet recital. (My husband finds this hilarious. I expect it to be less funny once he’s sat through an hour of watching the other classes perform, waiting for me.)
I danced growing up, which I have mentioned before. I was pretty serious about it in my youth, and the context I was in was pretty serious. So it’s been hard for me to accept taking something that I took so seriously and placing it in a context that is much more ‘just for fun.’ I’m annoyed that the dances I’m in haven’t been rehearsed enough. I’m annoyed that the choreographers haven’t focused on giving us marks to hit on the stage, or working to ensure that we are all together, that lines are straight. I’m a perfectionist, and ballet generally suits that nature. But when I’m part of something ballet-related that I know will be FAR less than perfect, it gets to me. And the worst part is that I know I will be far less than perfect. Life has intervened like it never did when I was seventeen, and I’ve missed rehearsals and had to focus in so many other places that I’m not confident I’ll nail this performance.

But I told my mom about my irritation with the whole thing, my embarrassment that I’m even going to do this. And she told me about a woman she knows who is 87 years old who participates in a tap dance recital every year. The woman she described was enthusiastic and fun, doing something unexpected just because it makes her happy.

And I realized that I should be the same. I should be excited to perform because I LOVE to be onstage. And I should be excited about it even though I don’t get to dictate the terms. I should be proud and happy that I can still do it, even to this degree. I should get up there and love every minute of it.

So that’s what I’m going to try to do. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Remember, don’t wish me luck. Say “break a leg.”