Reflecting on Childhood Through Ballet

“Things that I grew up with stay with me. You start a certain way, and then you spend your whole life trying to find a certain simplicity that you had. It’s less about staying in childhood than keeping a certain spirit of seeing things in a different way.” – Tim Burton

As a child, I experienced life in a very candid, carefree way. Though I was curious about the world – reading a lot with my mom, talking to grandpa about distant lands, looking at maps, memorizing country capitals (and getting very excited about geography) – I always felt that travels would happen at a much later stage in my life. I grew up traveling to see my grandparents in Poland as much as possible (and traveling within Europe is certainly easier by shorter distances). It was on those road trips with grandpa driving long hours, that I would ask questions about the world, dream about exotic places, and wonder about nearby countries.


Ballet when I was younger
Posing so gracefully πŸ™‚

This weekend, I watched a movie that reminded me of a different part of childhood I loved – dancing. As a child, I enjoyed all types of dance, but I especially remember ballet nights. I wasn’t particularly great at ballet, but it taught me discipline and I tremendously respected the art of it. My parents took me to classical concerts and ballet performances, and I remember really enjoying these. I continue to attend ballet performances in NYC, and get swept away by the stories, the athleticism, and the art the dancers create on that stage.

On Sunday, I watched the Ballerina documentary on Netflix, which follows the lives of young Russian ballerinas from the Kirov, whose dedication and passion for dance shows in every part of the film. While the movie is at times slightly difficult to watch – particularly when focusing on the discipline ‘forced’ on these young women who strive for constant perfection – it made me realize how lucky I was to be able to dance and to experience this art form at a young age. My parents always encouraged me to try new things and to delve into different hobbies, which allowed me to live a fun childhood (a childhood I hope to give my own kids one day).
Did you dance when younger? Still do? What type of dance? Ever watched the documentary?

2 thoughts on “Reflecting on Childhood Through Ballet

  1. Beautiful post, Nicolette! I did ballet when a kid , then modern dance in my 20s but later had no $ for lessons. Fast forward 20 years : When John’s dad was very sick and I hadn’t left his side for a year , the hospice people asked me was there something that made Me happy that I missed and I said dance. So they made me leave my husband’s side for an hour and took me to a modern dance class. I was so sad that I had trouble moving to the music but just that little experience re-woke the joy in me. Fastforward another 20 years: I am in my 60 s but just took up dance with a group of seniors –learning waltz and other ballroom dances. It is just wonderful. Why didn’t I just keep dancing my whole life? I didn’t realize one doesn’t need a regular partner and it is so rejuvenating. John’s grandad lived to 99 by dancing almost every night. I am going to a rock dance too. It doesn’t matter what music you like-/just dance! Sent from my iPhone


    1. Thanks so much for sharing this beautiful story, Mama Joan. What a great gesture from the hospice people to take you to the dance class, and I’m so happy you could join the dance group now, and pick up right where you left off πŸ™‚ I love your message of simply dancing to any music, when you can! Thanks again for sharing that and much love!

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