On an island in the river on an ordinary Sunday


A nice quiet day.

I’m headed off to ballet class this morning.  Since I was 16 and went back to ballet with the opening of a new studio in our small neighborhood, I have found it to be one of the most grounding things in my life.  It never falls, whenever things are getting chaotic, if I take the time to go back to class, there are at least two hours of my time where everything is right with the world.  A few years ago, I found a class I was comfortable in and a teacher who encouraged me to go back into pointe work.  (For the uninitiated, ballet students dance in regular flat leather or canvas shoes, until deemed strong enough to go up on pointe.  A lot of dancers never dance on pointe.  Pointe shoes are made of satin and a small wooden box that encases the toes, enabling the dancer to go all the way up on the tippy toes – it takes a lot of strength and discipline to study pointe).  Unfortunately the studio where I was taking four ballet classes a week closed due to lack of funding.

I was fortunate enough to meet Dawn Hillen at a Barrow Group performance.  She is a ballet teacher in the city and I think once upon a time long long ago I took her class at Broadway Dance Center.   I found out last year that she was teaching a beginning pointe class and several levels of regular ballet at various studios throughout the city.  Dawn is a kind spirit, who teaches with positivity and good will.  Rarely does she exhibit any negative or frustrating behavior (I think I’ve seen it once, and if you’re not doing what you’re supposed to in pointe shoes you can break your ankles!) Studying with Dawn is such a healing relief after the stresses of life as an artist in New York City.

So I’ve found a regular, grounding anchor in my day-to-day life.  I can’t think of a better way to start the week.

Also today, I’m doing a reading of Hope Singsen’s new play The Teeth of Your Monsters. I’ve been reading for her for several versions of this play now and at our rehearsal yesterday we only skimmed through for technical things, so I will hear the  new version for the first time today as we read it.  I’m looking forward to it!

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