MY daughter Sunis, who is turning five next month, started taking ballet classes when she was three years old and has survived several recitals since. She attends her lessons twice a week at the Rhythm and Dance Center here in the City of San Fernando, Pampanga, and has mastered her weekly schedules by heart.
Sunis rarely complains about tired and aching feet, but when she does it usually happens late at night and early in the morning, possibly from cramped muscles, and would request for a foot or leg massage. She tags along to the spa on the rare occasions when I go.
She constantly delights us with her impromptu dance numbers. She has developed a certain grace through the years, despite her borderline weight issues as she tends to be on the chubby side. I am inclined to think that she is inspired more by the American ballerinas than the diminutive Russian ones, considering that she is big boned herself.
I never truly understood what my daughter goes through at a young age until at the start of this year when I saw an announcement on Facebook of trial lessons for adult ballet classes at Sunis's dance school and an invitation from RDC's director Rolby Lacanlale to give it a try. Why not try something new and unusual to start the year, I thought to myself. From a person who would rather read than dance, and who feels terrorized and nervous whenever dance performances are called for.
One night earlier this week, I did give it a try. My daughter was encouraging enough, and very much excited too. In fact, she patiently waited for me throughout the whole session which lasted for almost two hours. Yes, reversing the roles, she was quite a stage daughter too, capturing some moments of her mom struggling with barre exercises, while discreetly giggling from her corner at the dance studio.
While ballet training for children is recommend since they are more flexible as their bodies develop, ballet as an exercise for adults is amazing too! Sunis's teachers Minette and Em, who are now my teacher and classmate too, led us through a series of stretching warm ups, barre exercises, and basic dance positions, which ended with a proper curtsy. It was not as intense or difficult as a gym work out as I would have imagined, and was made enjoyable with the classical music accompaniment.
What's more is that I understand where my daughter comes from and appreciate the hard work and effort she puts into something she is passionate and excited about. Is there any hope for me to get better as a dancer? Perhaps not. But there is hope for me to be in a better shape than just being my usual couch potato self. Ah yes, I do hope I also require a little grace in between.
Interested in unleashing the inner ballerina in you? Catch the ballet classes at the Rhythm and Dance Center, 3rd Floor, Queensland Building, City of San Fernando, Pampanga every Tuesday 1030am to 1230pm, and Wednesday 530 to 730pm. Teacher Em is approachable and may be reached through mobile number 09956302630. See you at the barre!
Published in the SunStar Pampanga newspaper on January 14, 2018.
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