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Rabbits and Squirrels

Gemstone

Here for the Journey
#1
Of all the evenings in the week Wednesday was the one I dreaded the most. At 5.15 Mum and I would leave the house and walk up to the bus stop to meet Angela Cross and her mum. Angela was petite and pretty with perfect posture and wore her long hair in a low knot at the nape of her neck. The whole effect was finished off with a wide pink hairband which covered her hairline and went under the knot at the back. She carried her pink leotard, tights and ballet shoes in a small pink vanity case and she was everything I wanted to be.

Angela had started ballet when she was tiny and now went twice a week. She used the Wednesday beginners’ class as a warm-up for her advanced class afterwards and the presence of the advanced girls was supposed to inspire us towards greater things. Angela was not pretentious in fact she was actually a very nice person and totally focused on her craft. This only made things worse because I would have loved to have hated her.

Beside Angela I was a complete mess. My short hair only served to emphasise my roundness and I felt SO clumsy and awkward. My navy blue shorts and baggy top singled me out as a beginner before we even started, as did my cheap red ballet training shoes. If anyone was still in any doubt they only had to watch for a few minutes to confirm their suspicions.

The ballet teacher was the daughter of my mum’s boss. Mum worked two days a week in a local shop and the owner’s daughter was a ballerina of some note who owned a ballet school a few miles away. The boss’s wife had persuaded my mum that ballet lessons would tone me up, improve my posture and raise my self esteem. Well she was right on the first two but raise my self esteem? Was she mad?

The lesson began with a run through of the ballet positions. “We’ll begin with first position” instructed Sylvia, assuming perfect position gracefully. I shuffled my feet into a ‘heels-together toes pointing outwards’ sort of pose with my arms stretched out in front of me as if greeting a representative from United Nations,

When we got to our dance rehearsal for the upcoming ballet display I felt as if I was on much safer ground. I had been practicing 'rabbits and squirrels' at home and it was a familiar piece. Sylvia put on the music, ‘Winter Wonderland’ and off we went. What I lacked in style and application, I made up ten-fold in enthusiasm. Toe-heel, Toe-kick, Toe heel, Toe-kick round in a circle, lumbering a head and shoulders above everyone else and dwarfing their efforts with my extreme exuberant performance. Just as I was coming to a glorious climax, I saw my mother pick up her bag from the floor and leave tight lipped, her reflection repeating several times throughout the mirrored room as she went.

I stopped in my tracks, dead! All the little rabbits and squirrels behind me buffeted the girl in front and we all went tumbling onto the wooden floor in a heap. In the silence that followed, I heard Mrs Cross exclaim loudly to her neighbour, “See, that’s exactly what I keep telling her mother, that Gemma is far too fat and clumsy for ballet but all the woman does is get funny with me. Now my Angela…..”

I didn’t want to hear any more. I picked up my things and ran until I got outside, where my mother was pacing furiously, a look like thunder on her face.

I never had to endure the Wednesday ordeal again and Mother stopped speaking to Mrs Cross altogether. As for Angela, I liked her far more now that my glittering career in dancing was over.

© August 2008
 
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abz

Gold Member
#2
oh gemma. how awful!! i was also the fat one in a dance class but i went for years. acro was my thing. i used to love bending and flipping and being upside down. i still would if my back wouldn't snap... maybe once i'm thin again :)

it did help that the teacher wasn't exactly thin. the dreaded dancing shows each christmas though. god they had to be endured. my parents started off my drawing straws i would imagine and had to sit through hours and hours of it!! makes me cringe now. especially the year my skirt flew off mid spin... but it happened the year before to another girl in our group so it was just carrying on the tradition really... hee. still. watching that video. i tried to carry on skirtless while everyone else in the group laughed hysterically on the floor on the stage :D

mine and my mate's dad started going to the pub in the end and arriving just as it finished to pick us up!! ha.

abz xx
 

Gemstone

Here for the Journey
#3
Ha Ha! Sylvia was the perfect ballerina. She was long and thin with perfect posture. My friend Angela (the pink one I wished I could hate) was like her mini-me and did, I believe continue with dancing after she left school. Adults are often oblivious to the effect their comments have on children and Mrs Cross never did understand how anything she said could possibly upset anyone. It was great for me though once the embarassment was over, cos I never had to go to the dreaded dancing lessons again. One thing I am grateful for though is the posture awareness. It has stood me in good stead getting over two back injuries.

Did Bucks Fizz get the idea for their act from you abz? x
 

Gemstone

Here for the Journey
#5
Gosh I was forgetting how long ago that was! Guess you weren't their inspiration then. OMG! How time flies (that's what the man said when the marble clock fell on his head) x
 

Taz

Spam Hunter
S: 17st12lb C: 12st4lb G: 10st10lb BMI: 27.3 Loss: 5st8lb(31.2%)
#7
See I was the opposite! I used to ice skate and I loved it but I was so obviously bigger than all the others. In the shows I stuck out like a sore thumb and I would love to take up skating again when I am slimmer. I used to hate the 'my daughter is perfect' mums
 

Gemstone

Here for the Journey
#8
Trouble was Angela Cross WAS perfect and I couldn't even hate her. x
 

Taz

Spam Hunter
S: 17st12lb C: 12st4lb G: 10st10lb BMI: 27.3 Loss: 5st8lb(31.2%)
#9
That is a problem! I find that sometimes the parents can stop people liking perfectly nice people by bigging them up too much
 

abz

Gold Member
#10
i used to hate parents that said their child could do no wrong. i mean, obviously parents are protective and idolise their child. but if their child hits you when you are little and then their mum says 'they would never do that' and you are bawling your eyes out... i hated parents like that... blind love :D
 

Gemstone

Here for the Journey
#11
No good for the child either. x
 


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