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And in seeing her dive headfirst into a pile of colored pencils and gouache, I’ve been inspired to pick up an old, and rather serious, hobby I had as a teen: ballet.
For all the difficulties COVID-19 has dished out to parents like me — home-schooling four kids, working full time from home, cooking or food prepping on what feels like the Scrambler ride at an amusement park — I have found that surprisingly, I have more time to myself.
Yes, some of that is courtesy of my old pal screen time, but there are also fewer activities and practices and games and commutes and commitments that require my attention. I can’t be the only parent who quietly breathed a sigh of relief when we were told only one parent could attend sporting events and no parents could watch practices.
So I’ve decided to spend an hour a week in a local ballet studio, in a mask, plieing and pirouetting, or at least trying.
It’s not the five hours a day I spent there as teen, with dreams of becoming a professional dancer. But it’s exactly what I’ve needed to distract myself from the stresses of being almost literally everything to my kids.
When I started taking class a few months ago, my technique came back almost instantly, but I could barely lift my leg to a 45-degree angle without it shaking. So much for all those stationary bike workouts.
But now I can hold my leg for a few seconds at 90 degrees, sometimes even higher during grand battements. My jumps are almost back where they used to be, except now I need a quick bathroom break before petit allegro.