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Why I Take Ballet Classes, And Why I Like Them

About eight months ago, I had the idea that maybe I should be doing something to work on flexibility and posture, like yoga. I've taken yoga in the past and liked it, but never really loved it enough to stick with it. Maybe I'll try ballet, I thought.

A lot of members of my family and extended family have taken ballet, as have a disproportionately high percentage of girls I've dated. Through them I've been exposed to it in bits and pieces, and I always admired the discipline of it. Ballet is so exacting and precise that even after years of work it's still near impossible, but ballet dancers press on despite that. I always admired the tenacity it seemed to build.

I also like going to ballets, as long as they're not modern ballet. Between seeing all the good things that came out of others doing ballet and thinking it may help me appreciate watching ballet more, I figured I'd take one class and try it out. The fact that it was weird for a straight guy to take ballet probably factored in, as well.

I was pretty much hooked at my first class. In life I like the idea of working as hard as humanly possible but still trying to make it look good on the outside, and ballet was the dance form that reflected that. It felt great to wake up on Sunday morning, ride my motorcycle downtown, and then slip on ballet shoes, stretch out, and learn something difficult and physical.

Part III, Oh, the Magical World of Hummus

On The Slowing

This is Part III of IV in my Arbitrary Disciplines series.

I have always loved sweets as long as I can remember. I can recall waking up at my Granny's house when I was 9 or 10 and having a Sun Drop with breakfast. I would sit at my Nana's long, dark wooden table and watch her scoop vanilla ice cream from the store brand gallon tub. One of my earliest memories of cooking with my mom is making "Hannah's famous pumpkin bread" with her. Sweets are family are memories are goodness.

Right?

Not so right when you feel like shit all the time, turns out. Until I arrived at college, I had never eaten kale. Didn't have a clue what butternut squash was. And a meal consisted of some meat, white potatoes and bread. I thought there was probably some nutritional value in fried foods because I'd heard vegetable oils are good for your blood.

My world was upended when I got to college and suddenly had to grapple with Swiss chard, vegan nuggets, and - oh, the glorious - hummus. Through my four years at Smith my diet changed dramatically. And honestly, Smith was not a particularly healthy place. We had all-you-can-eat macaroni and cheese right next to those greens. But it was the gradual introduction of new vegetables and a re-training of my taste buds that got me to the point I am now.

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