Shawn L. Bird

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Buddha & ballet January 27, 2012

Filed under: anecdotes,Pondering — Shawn L. Bird @ 12:03 am
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I think, at least, that it was Buddha who said, “When the student is ready, the master appears.” It’s a good observation; however, the master will no doubt have been there all along, but until the student was ready, he had no focus to see him/her.  What if the master is ready, but no student appears?

As a kid, I took ballet lessons from the founder of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet,  Dr. Gweneth Lloyd. Not advanced, pointe work ballet, mind you. Twinkle-toe tots kind of of ballet. I think it was a complete waste of talent for her to have been teaching me. Perhaps others in the class went on to become amazing stars, but not me. Mind you, I can still do the 5 positions, but the discipline of mind and body required by ballet was definitely not mine. I am not of the “No pain, no gain” school. (My particular mantra is “No pain! No pain!” ) I remember her walking through the class, with her bright red lipstick on, stick in hand, prowling to poke at us “Move this, tighten that.” I was rather traumatized by the whole affair.

Then there was the recital. I was a swamp fairy. Unlike the cute flower fairies who got to wear pastels and tutus, the swamp fairies wore dyed khaki green waffle weave underwear. Yes. really. Undershirts and undershorts. Dyed pukey green. They made me go on stage in underwear.  Did I mention that I had a personal seamstress who’d kept me in adorable little outfits since birth?  All that work to learn a choreography only for public humiliation in underwear.  I cried.  I didn’t want to go on stage.  It was not a happy day.  I did dance, of course, because it was a stage, but plainly I’ve never gotten over it.

I did not go onto further ballet studies, which was probably for the best.

There was a master, but I was not meant to be her student.

Explain that one, Buddha.


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