The Beauty of the Beginning

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When I was 4 years-old I started ballet lessons.

I wanted to be Karen Kain, one of the finest principal ballet dancers in the world at the time, and a legend at the National Ballet of Canada.

When I was 5, I asked for a ballerina towel from the Sears catalogue, that could be monogrammed with my name, for Christmas.

Santa delivered and that towel currently hangs in my studio. I’ve never been able to give it away.

I took ballet lessons for 5 years, from ages 4 to 9. I gave it up to focus on figure skating, piano and school.

But I never, ever stopped loving it.

I took lessons for a year when I was at university and I’ve been treating myself to at least one professional performance every year since I was in my early 20s.

In January, I went to get my laptop fixed at a place near my flat, and on my way back to the car I walked by a ballet studio. It’s been there for a couple of years and I’ve walked passed it dozens of times but never noticed it.

That night I noticed.

And I went in.

Twenty minutes later I came out with a 10-class pass and a pair of ballet slippers.

And I’ve been going once/week since.

As I’ve been slowly coming back to writing I’ve noticed a re-awakening to movement.

I was never, ever a sporty kid but I loved ballet and skating and any sort of expressive movement.

And I’ve been coming back to that in ways that feel incredibly good physically and emotionally, in ways that are feeding me creatively.

If you had told me three months ago that the path back to the page was through movement, I would not have believed you.

But now, I believe.

This is me in first position.

At the beginning.

Karen Ward