I just take a crabby attitude to everything… I can’t seem to do anything half-decently, I look poochy, I’m flailing or bailing every time U. looks at me so that the overall impression I’m giving her is that I’m a total beginner again… and so on and so forth, wah wah wah.
It began with not being able to smoke before class (actually, the third Tuesday in a row I’ve not been able to do this), so I am already surly…. then, I burned off the skin on the top of a big toe by wearing my stupid grey shoes two days in a row, and I was publicly blaming my general ungainliness on that pain (though it really was a minor discomfort) and was not letting U. touch my feet because of their “tenderness” and just generally being peevish and a poor sport.
This image captures me perfectly, right down to the sour face, the poochiness and the purple bodysuit:
Of course, the hair colour’s wrong and I don’t stand around with my pointe shoes dangling from my fingers (in fact, I don’t know of any dancers who hang around holding their pointe shoes like a handbag, although there are thousands of artworks out there depicting that. No, there’s too much stuff — padding, wrapping, powders, sprays — involved in putting on pointe shoes, so you would definitely not be standing around poised to “slip” them on at a moment’s notice. You certainly wouldn’t be carrying them around by themselves).
I was better on Saturday… worked a little harder and didn’t let the mirror gross me out.
But on Tuesday when I was dressing to leave, White Swan commented strangely on my stupid grey shoes. She said, “Those don’t look like the kind of shoes you’d wear… I think of you as conservative… with a little alternative twist to you…” and then she kind of stopped short as if to realize that those stupid grey shoes were exactly that: conservative with a little alternative twist.
The shocking thing to me was that White Swan was absolutely right about me! How did she know that when we only ever see each other at ballet and in ballet clothes?
Image: Hodges Soileau, Dancer in Profile