Listen to the music

Saturday, October 10, 2009

La Vie est un ballet; on ne le danse qu' une fois

I want to give credit to Judith from Paris Atelier for inspiring me several months ago with her "Let's Dance" post. Please visit her beautiful blog HERE to see her lovely photos.

The French proverb above tells us that life is a ballet; you only dance it once. To dance is a gift and I am grateful that in spite of not having the opportunity to fulfill my dream of being a ballerina, I did dance and I worked hard to make it happen; such is the story of my life. You see, I knew I wanted to dance since I was about three years old when I would hear my father play his beloved Chopin, Debussy and Bach on the piano. I would feel the music in my husky little legs and I would twirl and flitter about like a lost, little moth. He would laugh and call me his "Mariposa", which means butterfly, in Spanish.

No, this darling little golden haired baby is not me; but her image evokes the feeling of freedom, purity and grace that I wanted to express when I heard the music. When I grew up and started to dance, the thrill of the dance swelled to greater emotions with the tactile experience of the supple give of the wooden floor under my feet

and the prickly sensation of tulle petticoats and costumes scratching against my skin.

Dance, like the art of living, requires constant reflection and redesign

in the midst of challenges and fears

in moments where patience is of foremost importance

until one is developed, defined, and strong enough

to manipulate the magic shoes with great precision and beauty.

Shanna La Fleur also said, "It takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer." I have learned that technique is a necessary base from which one can launch off to an artistic expression, and that there is no substitute for hard, and sometimes lonely work.

It is only after years of pain and joy, that one can wear the beautiful garments of victory

stand up straight and get ready to soar

and express the love you have inside

until your art becomes a sweet, vintage memory

and it is time to hang up your shoes.

I hung up my dance shoes long ago, but the sweet dance of life has never ended. I would like to dedicate this post to my dear sister-in-law Nancy who has danced a graceful Pas de Deux in this life and to Patricia, my wonderful friend whose life is a ballet in itself.

Bonne journée mes amies!