Monday, January 4, 2016

For My Ballet Teacher

Winging its way across the state in today's mail are a letter and photos for my former ballet teacher.  One contact led to another a few months ago, and I finally learned the last name of the beautiful lady who taught ballet in my elementary school cafeteria thirty-four years ago.  Now that the kind and lovely Karen of my kindergarten memories had a last name and then an address, I was able to put words to paper finally and thank her for this sweet part of my childhood.  After school however-many days a week in 1982, my classmates and I would meet in the school cafeteria in our most basic workout clothes and ballet shoes and dance in a circle around ever-smiling Karen.  She is one of a number of people who graced my life as a child who was just undeniably Meant to Work with Children.  She was just so good with us--and you can see it in her face in these pictures. 
I still remember the basic ballet positions, although the classes now seem to have been at least as much a time for us all to run around the circle giggling and performing Disney soundtrack-accompanied "Mousercize" as they were an opportunity to learn to dance.  We thought we were all prima ballerinas, though, I'm sure, especially after all the lessons in long-sleeve t-shirts and sweatpants culminated that winter in our donning pink and silver satin sequinned leotards and tutus for our holiday performance at the high school.  My ballet shoes got lost in the shuffle at some point, but I still have my leotard and tutu--and they smell and feel exactly as they did when I first received them, I noticed while sorting some things at my parents' house this past fall.  There is nothing about me that will have made me memorable to Karen--she owned a dance studio in addition to offering these introductory classes in the schools, so I am just one of the hundreds of people who have enjoyed her teaching and sweetness over the years--but she and the joy of her after-school lessons have been fondly remembered by me --and by my mom, who also thought my instructor was fantastic ("Just to be able to coral all you girls, let alone teach you to dance. . . !")--all this time, so Karen will soon be receiving a thank you card and these pictures.  And I hope they find her well. 


Gary said...

What a delightful revelation. Amanda thought that she had spotted a fellow ballet dancer. A lovely post.

Val said...

And what a neat comment, Gary. Thank you and Amanda. :)

Gary said...

She said that you looked like a dancer:)

Val said...

Lovely! Does Amanda still dance? (Hi, Amanda!) :) The city's ballet company offers lessons to adults, and I always think that I'll try it again one of these days.

La Table De Nana said...

You, my dear are priceless..that teacher will be so moved!
I remember my ballet classes too..Mary Beetles School of Dance:) 1960.
Yes I am old;)

Val said...

Thank you, Monique. 'Just emailed you. :) I actually made up a list of people I want to get back in touch with, send pictures to, etc. in the coming weeks. Karen's the first one of 2016. I hope it does brighten her day. :)

The fun of ballet! ♥