I Quit Journalism To Become A Ballerina
At times I feel ridiculous.
Happens almost every Tuesday morning after I tug on a long T-shirt and leggings and head to ballet class, where I am the oldest participant.
By a LOT.
“C’mon, Kerry, crawl,” urged my granddaughter yesterday morning as we embarked on some sort of animal dance that involved dropping to all fours and rhythmically moving to spirited piano music.
I looked around to see if the other women - even the pregnant ones - were on their knees. Most were, so down I went.
I averted my eyes from the floor-to-ceiling mirrors. No one - including me - wants to see someone my age making her way across a floor on her hands and knees. So much derriere. So little grace.
There was a time - not long ago - when at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday I might be interviewing the governor or calling cops about an unsolved murder.
Now I’m doing pliés to “I’m A Little Teapot.”
I try not to think about that.
“Don’t you write for the newspaper?” the dance teacher asked a couple of weeks ago after class.
“Used to,” I replied.
I quit journalism to become a ballerina.
Let’s back up. My last day at The Virginian-Pilot was December 1. My granddaughter’s second birthday was December 2nd.
As I tried to decide what to give her, I realized that I’d no longer be a harried newspaper columnist with little free time. So I offered to enroll her in a weekday dance class and take her there myself.
What I didn’t realize was that two is too young for most ballet programs. I finally found a studio, in Norfolk, that offers a “dance-with-me” class for her age group.
Dance lessons. For toddlers and their moms. Or, in the politically correct parlance of today, their “adult.”
The dance teacher cleverly incorporates ballet moves and language into imaginative movement for kids. The adults twirl with the tots to keep them from turning into wild monkeys in tutus.
My granddaughter talks about dance class all week. She races into the studio on Tuesday mornings.
To tell the truth, so do I.
Without glancing at the mirrors, of course.