I was trained as a classical ballet dancer since the age of three. My only preoccupation in life was to shape my body and muscles to the rigor of becoming a classical ballet dancer. I put hours of work and sweat to perfect my pirouettes, fly across the stage with my jetees, balance perfectly on my toes in a graceful arabesque, achieve the perfect developee line and finish flawlessly a thirty two fouettes set.
“Sofie! Don’t lean on the barre, your supporting knee is bent. I said ‘en croix’.” I notice with a start that Mme Olga is standing next to me and addressing her remarks to me. I have been daydreaming, an absolute no-no in class.
Usually the music carries me away but today I have to make an extra effort to stay focused.
“Ok! Center please.”
We all move to the center of the studio facing the mirrors. Chopin’s ‘nocturne’ fills the air as we divide in two groups and start the ‘adage’. The music is beautiful and the choreography familiar but today somehow my balance is off. It is as if a shift has occurred in my center of gravity. My knees are wobbly and my alignment off kilt.
By the end of the ‘grand allegro’ my muscles are screaming and I am out of breath.
“Reverence.” Says Mme Olga. And the class is over.
Mme Olga moves majestically to my side and puts a hand on my shoulder.
“Sofie are you sick?”
“You are not yourself!”
“I just found out a week ago that I am pregnant.”
Mme Olga looks at me with half a smile and then hugs me and slowly says:
“Congratulations! Now your life has changed for ever.”