While returning my wardrobe gems back to the depths of my wardrobe, I discovered a Shelley’s bag that I had entirely forgotten about. Inside were what remain of my quest to become a dancer…*
They are from left to right, my ballet and tapshoes from 1983, my hard and soft shoes for Irish dancing from 1997-8 and my tap shoes from 2004.
Once upon a time, I recounted the tale of wanting to become a ballerina, or a teacher. Finally, Mum sent my sister and I off to dance class when I was 12 and Fizz was 10. The dance class included ballet, jazz ballet and tap and ran for 2 hours on a Saturday morning at the local Anglican church hall. It was where I learned my first french word plie or bend.
I wore pink tights, a black leotard and wrap and my pink ballet shoes and later, my tap shoes.There were concerts, ballet exams and wearing my (very) short hair in a bun, which was more hair gel than anything! We moved to Geelong at the end of 1984 which put an end to my nascent career as a ballerina. Though I think puberty and an increasing interest in pop music (boy bands especially) may have had more to do with it…
Then in 1997, fired by a worldwide interest in Michael Flatley and Riverdance, I resurrected my quest to take the dancing world by storm and enrolled in Irish dancing classes. Initially I started off through a short course at the CAE, then moved to a dance school whose classes were held in the Celtic Club in Queen Street, Melbourne, then later in a church hall just off Brunswick Street. I learned reels, jigs and slip jigs, and how to dance in hard shoes. I was dancing with people who danced professionally, who were re-learning after having done it when they were children or who were simply doing it for the sheer enjoyment of kicking up their heels (me).
My feet and legs ached after every class, but I loved every minute of it. What was also enjoyable were the after-class pints with the class at a nearby pub. My glittering career was cut unfortunately by a double whammy of my injuring my back, and contracting the flu both of which took ages to recover from. By the time I was fit and ready, I was kind of embarrassed to turn up and was probably way behind in the learning of new dances.
My final assault on the world of dance was returning to tap dancing in 2004. This was also through the CAE and while shortlived, was enjoyable. I discovered that my Irish dancing hard shoe skills had not entirely left me! Moving to Ballarat and getting pregnant made it hard to continue, and baby wrangling meant my dancing was put on the backburner again.
The shoe collection hold so much sentimental value and represent the immense fun I had whilst wearing them. I probably also held onto them, just in case I had a little person who may one day show an interest in learning to dance. But that, is for another day and another post 🙂
This blog post was brought to you today by Miss BG, who spent much of the time pressing buttons while I was typing!
*This blog post was also written with tongue firmly in cheek 🙂