As a ballerina, you learn one fact very quickly once you put on pointe shoes for the first time. Even if you’re dancing beautifully, a grimacing face betrays what’s actually happening in your mind. So, you learn to put a beautiful smile on your face, no matter what. It’s rather an interesting thing to learn to do, because it’s such a “mind over matter” thing. However, I am here to tell you that it is totally possible to convince your brain that it’s normal to smile when in pain.
Anyway, to the”pointe” of this post (see what I did there?). My dance teacher danced for both Ballet West and the New York Ballet as a prima during her career as a professional dancer, and through all this you gather MANY hysterically funny stories. Most classes are fairly serious, we get to work and we work hard, but every once in a while we have a story session. Normally they totally kill the seriousness of the class, and today was no different.
When she was still at Ballet West, she was out on the hardwood stage stretching while some of the boys were cleaning off the stage, and someone thought it would be funny to push her out of the way with a broom. Well, it did move her, but it also got multiple splinters in her rear. She had a performance that night, so she went ahead as she was, but she was super uncomfortable. Doing the logical thing, after the performance she went to the dancing mistress and asked her what to do about the painful and inconveniently placed splinters. She was instructed to see the nurse.
The nurse, after inspecting her, decided that the splinters were “really big” and therefore she needed to go to the doctor. After driving a really long time with the dancing mistress, she got the the “doctor”. Or should we say veterinarian.
The next day she was splinter free, but in for a 10 hour bus ride, during which she would be teased the entire time by the other dancers.
So yes, ballerinas do laugh, but normally at extremely silly things or misfortunes that we can all cringe over.
Wishing you a season of laughter,