To Kill a Tutu- my long rebuttal from ballet

November 19, 2008
When I was a little girl, like most, I took ballet. I hated it! Every other day when my mom would drive me to Deb's Dance, it was a fight. I would scream and throw tantrums, well, what else is new, but in the end, with my mom fourty and I three and, well, she had better arguments than my “I don’t wanna!” The proof? I took ballet against my will for the four following years. I was never good at it either. My technique was below average, being three my attention span was... short. Plus, I couldn't stand listening to that horrid music-I was very into Brittany Spears. The tutu’s were a plus though. I liked to put it on my head and run around pretending I was a monster terrorizing all dancers everywhere.

When my family and I moved out to Eugene from Cleveland, I was relieved with the fact no one had bothered to sign me up for ballet. Obstinate that I would hate Oregon and everyone in it, at least I wouldn't have to wear those annoying tights and leotards.

Years past. Seasons came and went. In four years, I had moved to Seattle and back to Eugene again. With all that moving, soccer was my escape. I played on a club team, which kept me extremely busy. I traveled over the weekends which left Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays devoted to preparing for the following weekend to come. Alas, a cycle.

When I was eleven, my team and I were in Portland for the Pre-Qualifying Tournament, which determines what “rank” your team is at. It had been a long weekend and we were only halfway through. On the third of four games, a girl and I were fighting for the ball viciously. It was hot that particular day and everyone on the field was slightly delusional. Long story short, the girl pulled my shirt, which made me fall, which made me land, which I did on my arm, which I broke.

I was out for the rest of the season.

My coach, a considerable hunk who I had a crush on, discarded me like a used tissue not long after, replacing me even though I was only out for three or so months. I now stuck black pins in the voo-doo doll I made of him. However, during those months, I found that I didn’t miss soccer. It felt nice being able to kick my feet up after school for once, or to be lazy. After a while, however, I realized that I missed being busy and that I actually enjoyed having a crazy schedule. Oddly enough, it kept me sane. My friend danced at a local dance company, Dance Factory, and invited me to come for a free lesson. Dancing wasn't my first choice in hobbies to pick up, but none the less, I went to the class with her.

Expecting another ballet class, I was very surprised with what I found. What was this type of dance? The music was somewhat bearable and I could somewhat do it. I learned that what I was doing was called hip-hop. Interesting name, I thought. But still, I yearned for more. I went back the following week.

Within three years, I have gone from a one hour a week class to a new company outside of Dance Factory that is much more demanding with six to nine hours a week. Ever since that first class that fateful fifth grade evening, all of my time has been devoted to dance. It is my escape from the world. When I go to rehearsal, I can, now, truly be Maddie.

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