Gotta Dance......


'I want to dance like her Mammy', said the awestruck three year old little me, many moons ago. Standing there right in front of the black and white TV screen, with both hands touching the beautiful ballerina as she danced pirouettes and grand jetés all across the stage. And arabesques too...


                                                photo credit: danceviewtimes.com

I had to wait a few years before my wish was granted. And a few months more to get the leotard, tights and beautiful pink ballet shoes that were my most prized possessions, ever. How could my parents have ever doubted whether or not I'd 'stick to it'?

I didn't just 'stick to it' as regards Ballet, but as I grew older I embraced all forms of musical theatre style dancing, and dancing became more and more a huge part of my life. I adored it and worked very, very hard to become the best dancer I could be..... dancing pirouettes and grand jetés of my own all across the stage.

Fast forward a year or twenty to the young adult who went away with her non-dancing friends and whom, after some silly 'shenanigans', came home with torn ankle ligaments. I did a right job of it too, ending up in hospital for a week. I eventually came home with crutches, a cast on my leg and some daily Physio exercises to do. I do recall that the first question I asked my doctor after my operation wasn't 'will I walk again?' oh no, it was the far more important 'will I dance again'? He assured me that yes, I would.

So, off I went doing my set exercises three times daily, plus any other dance-like stretches I could manage. My aim was to strengthen the rest of my body so that it could best support my weakened leg when the cast came off. Before long I was back dancing in my magical world of  the stage, finding that, thanks to my strict exercise regime, I could now do the splits! A move I had long since yearned to do, and now I could. I was back stronger than ever it seemed.

Myself and my friends went from show to show and musical society to musical society, with oodles of dance classes in between, dancing our way up the twinkle toed ladder. There are lots of magical moments that stand out from that era and our Tops of the Town days are right up there as the most special. Adding the spice of competition to the magical elements of dancing on stage and you've got one helluva show.....and some fantastic memories too.




But the years roll on and the dancer grows up. I'm now a 50 something stay-at-home-mum to a teenager, living in suburbia, who along the way found an interest in doing some choreography. Being a Desperate Housewife is clearly not interesting enough for me it seems. It's not a huge amount of choreography, just some local school shows. But I do adore it. I adore passing on the stage experience I've gained to this generation and seeing the starlight gleam in their eyes as they perform on stage. I like to believe that in doing what I do, I am doing my bit to help keep the spirit of musical theatre and musical societies alive for another talented generation.

Fast forward thirty years or so and this 50 something, dancing mum, finds herself hit by another debilitating injury and is laid up for goodness knows how long. A back injury this time, hugely impacting on my left leg, sustained by attending a Pilates class of all things and this time I was hospitalised for three weeks. Once more the first question I asked my Doctors and Physiotherapist was 'will I dance again'? However this time the answers ranged from a 'maybe' ,to a shrug accompanied by a 'we'll see' ,to an implied 'never' - there's a huge twinkle toed grand jeté of a difference between a 'maybe' and a 'never' you know.

 It may be thirty years later but yet again here I am with one crutch, frenetically doing my Physio exercises three times daily, plus some short walks. However this time dance-like stretches cannot be done and I doubt I'll be performing the splits any time soon!

There will be no long walks, exercise classes or dancing opportunities for me either, for quite some time to come.

This really saddens me, especially since a project myself and some of my dancing friends have been secretly working on since last year is soon to come to fruition. And it's looking like I will not be partaking.

So, is this it for me? Nature's way of reminding me of my age, dragging me firmly into my fifties with me throwing a strop because I clearly don't want to?

I don't think so, despite what they say. I know I'll have to be careful, it is a back injury after all. But there has to be a way and I aim to find it.

Dancing is in my DNA and besides, I'm not quite ready to hang up my dancing shoes just yet......









19 comments:

  1. It's been what a month since you injured your back? Give yourself a chance to heal that and then I'm sure you'll slowly build up those dance exercises. Meet you back here this time next year and tell me how much dancing you're doing. I'll put money on it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Midlife Singleum: Oh I do hope you're right. I'm so disappointed that I can't dance for next month's event but I accept that it'll take time. I'm also genuinely afraid that my Doctor will say no to any from of dancing, ever! So thanks for your belief :-) xx

      Delete
  2. It just takes longer for your body to heal when you're more (ahem) mature. Be patient and take it slowly. Don't you knit or crochet? Might be a good time to rediscover it lol. It must be so Frustrating (capital F intended) but you'll get there XXX

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Jean: Oh it's a capital F alright! And yes, I take your very discreetly put point ;-) I will be relentless in doing the exercises I'm allowed to do and be convinced that I WILL dance again. ACd yes, the knitting needles and crochet hook are also on the go! They even spent three in hospital with me! xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't think anyone or anything will stop those dancing feet tap tapping across a stage somewhere eventually, but as Jean says, just take it one small step at a time xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Looking for Blue Sky: Aww....thank you! I guess I don't do 'baby steps' or 'slowly' very well, do I ?! xx

      Delete
  5. Oh...I'm sorry for the frustration..sorry for the lengthy healing time-BUT-you ARE a dancer..and I have known many-they NEVER stop,,they just learn new steps. Hang in there-heal! I look forward to hearing about your future dance experiences-as I am sure there will be some. ((())).

    ReplyDelete
  6. @kathleen: 'they [dancers] never stop....they just learn new steps' love it!! I may even borrow it sometime! I'm feeling all the positive vibes from all the comments here.... I am on the road to recovery and I WILL dance again :-) xx

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi jazzy after reading this post I have no doubt you will dance again it's in the heart,Remember the song I Iam a dancer that's who I am what I do .Well that's v appropriate to all of us former tops participants .Our lives took us various days my days in New York and London still involves seeing the new productions and sitting
    In the audience you are feeling there nerves etc.So good pal sit back and recover we will dance again so leave me to grace the sky's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Declan Casserly: Hi Dec! Excellent response and I thank you for it! From dancer to dancer, we will continue . I too love sitting in the audience waiting for a big show to start. It's not just the nerves, it's like all the feelings I had as a dancer being on stage and waiting for the curtain to be open or sitting in the audience seats watching a tech rehearsal come flooding back to me. Very special memories. xx

      Delete
  8. What a wonderful post..... so it was a back injury, and from pilates (how unfortunate). Take it easy with your self and allow yourself to heal well. X. ps. Little A begins ballet next week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Older Mum: Yes, very 'unfortunate' indeed! Thanks for lovely comment and best of luck to little A, I do hope she enjoys her firs ballet class :-) xx

      Delete
  9. Gosh Val, I had no idea it ended up putting you in hospital for 3 weeks, pilates is way dangerous. Wishing you a great recovery and many more years dancing. Mich x

    ReplyDelete
  10. To be a dancer you must have had discipline and determination. That is what is needed for recovery. I firmly believe you will get there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @mythoughtsonapage: You are absolutely right and your comment, like Declan's above, strengthens my resolve. It may not be in time for my upcoming event but I WILL get there :-) xx

      Delete
  11. I'm pretty sure that I know your determination means you will definitely be partaking.. in the biggest way you possibly can. And that you won't be down about it for long :) x

    ReplyDelete
  12. @Steph Curtis: Thanks for your supportive comment! I am a little bit down about it but I don't let it take me down for long! xx

    ReplyDelete
  13. Good for you, Jazzy. Don't let injuries and age hold you back. I realise that your body won't be able to do what your mind would like it to, however, that doesn't mean to say you should throw in the towel. Crossing fingers and toes that you find a way to keep dancing alive for yourself. xx

    ReplyDelete

Your comment is very much appreciated! x

- DESIGNED BY ECLAIR DESIGNS -