The dream of every little girl is to be a ballerina, a flawless porcelain fairy with a beautiful flowing dress, gliding across the stage as if she were enchanted. I remember the first ballet I went to see with my mother, Coppelia. It was wonderful, beautiful, and amazing. I recently took my own daughter to the ballet, and was fortunate to experience the dream again through her eyes.
The vision of a ballerina is one of exquisiteness, strength, and grace. Digging a little deeper, there is also focus, an enduring commitment, and tenacity. The drive it takes to pursue the mastering of the ballet is a seemingly impossible conquest. Amongst the most competitive, most difficult, fickle, dangerous, and short lived accomplishments there is in the world, the title of Prima Ballerina, or Prima Ballerina Assoluta, is a title earned, not given. Originally inspired by the Italian ballet masters of the early Romantic Ballet, the title was bestowed on a ballerina who was considered to be exceptionally talented, above the standard of other leading ballerinas. (For some, Prima Ballerina Assoluta is apparently the second rank to the ‘principle’ title of the Royal Ballet, though not nearly as romantic)
The simple, flawless, feminine grace of the ballerina is the most defining. A woman’s steel is her emotional and physical strength, flexibility, allure, grace, presence, and charisma. This list of qualities is what we all strive for in our lives, and one of the most important abilities of a ballerina is the power of balance, both figuratively and literally. Anything worth doing is worth doing with your whole heart, but there must be balance. Where you have physical strength, you must have health. To maintain emotional strength there must be Zen, a place of calm where focus rules and the wilds of the world disappear.
From the moment she could walk my daughter has loved to dance. She has been enrolled in dance school since she was five and has strived to be the best in her class. I am so very proud of her and in thinking of this post a conversation I had with her came to mind. All women should strive to be ballerinas, and the prima-ballerina is the strongest of the breed. Some think it is a girly, non-women promoting statement, but I think the biggest compliment someone could ever give me is that I am a prima-ballerina.
Perhaps we should find the ballerina doll, picture, music box, or snow globe, we have tucked away in a forgotten box and dust her off. She is beautiful, fragile, inspiring, romantic, and the fantasy of the little girl we once were and the women we are.
Here are some wonderfully inspiring quotes about ballerinas…enjoy!
~In life, as in the dance, grace glides on blistered feet.
~It doesn't matter where you are on the stage, just as long as you're there.
~Work like you don't need the money, Love like you've never been hurt and dance like nobody's watching.
~Ballet technique is arbitrary and very difficult. It never becomes easy--it becomes possible.