Life as a "Half" Ballet Pupil in Paris Marais Dance School
Illustration by Nereid
My most glorious time was when I was in the fourth year of elementary school until the first year of junior high. During that period, I was also auditioned for the professional tap-dancing group. Besides the morning practices every Sunday, I contributed all of my weekends to the studio when the performing season was arriving.
One time, we had a one-day travelling to another city for the performance. It was already 1:00 AM when I finally arrived home; however, I went to school for class at 7:15 AM on Monday as usual. At that time, I was proud of myself and felt like I was a real professional who treated the “career” sincerely.
Yes, I wanted to build my career in the field of dancing.
Nevertheless, under the traditional Asian upbringing, I wasn’t allowed to pursue my dream as a professional artist, musician nor dancer.
From time to time, I imaged whether I’d be more satisfied with myself when I’m on my dream path. Well, but I never experience such a life, I couldn’t compare.
Of course, I still dream about being a dance or ballet pupil.
Closed to the Centre Pompidou, Paris Marais Dance School is situated in a beautiful corner on Rue du Temple. As a professional dance school, the teachers there still treat the amateurs who can only join the class one day per week like me professionally.
Every Saturday morning, I wake up at 7:00 AM, freshen myself up, make some breakfast, put on the leotard and take my ballet bag, I always take a 30-minute walk to school to be as the warmup. No matter it’s the freezing winter, the hot summer, or the deadline of the essay, I would hold myself together and attend the class in the salle Offenbach no matter what. While looking back to the first day of the ballet class, this lifestyle is almost a year already.
”Pieds collés au 6ème position. On fait le plié. ”
Facing the bar in the sixth position for the plié, this is always the first sentence my teacher, Ghislain says when the class begins.
A half-an-hour of practice sounds not much, especially when the classical ballet always looks so light and elegant, it seems that it’s not that exhausting, is it? But, it is instead, that lightness and elegance make ballet so tough. I sweat more than I do for the entire week after the practice every time. Especially, when you have to keep turning out the hip, knees, heels and tiptoes but remain front for the body; at the same time, it’s important to use the core and the strong willpower to lift the legs as well as staying there for eight counts…
I awe all the professional ballerinas.