Oct. 3rd, 2008

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I was a member of the American Ballet Theatre and I've danced with some of the modern greats. Maxim Beloserkovsky in La Sylphide, for one. Of course, he was the principle cavalier as James and I was only a sylph in the corps de ballet but we did share the stage and we did see each other at rehearsals. I might have even worked up the nerve to tell him how genuinely amazing he was.

That is my one claim to professional fame. La Sylphide. Being part of the corps for the entire performance and being able to use that experience to land an audition for Giselle. That audition was the last time I danced on stage at ABT. What I had convinced myself was only a pulled muscle turned out to be something far worse. The pain in my leg had been a stress fracture not musculature-related and I went down like a ton of bricks during a ballonné compose. The start and finish of my career as a dancer.

Of course, there are hundreds of times I danced before that. My classical training started at eight years of age and continued all through school. And I still dance, but now my audience is a lot smaller and I don't just mean the headcount. No, my little cavaliers (I have a grand total of two) and ballerinas are anywhere from five to twelve and pretty tiny. I call them my pixie parade most of the time.

As an instructor I've gotten to dance far more than I ever would have with the company. All the great parts. All the leads in all the famous ballets. I've been Juliet and I've been Cinderella...I've trained legions of Sugar Plum Fairies. I've worn pointe shoes and tutus, tiaras and leggings. I'll even wear flat shoes with my jeans these days. Mademoiselle Waverly may never be anyone's virtuoso but you won't be able to convince any of the round little faces waiting for me at the barre every afternoon at three.
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Marlowe, furry beast that owns my soul.
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They don't dance. I'm not talking about slow dancing in the living room to Jimmy Buffet's Come Monday or letting it all hang out on a club dance floor as K.C. and the Sunshine Band get down tonight...I mean they aren't professionally trained dancers. Ballet, ballroom or god forbid part of the cast for Riverdance. No one that has taps on the bottom of their patent leathers or actually uses the phrase step-ball-change in casual conversation. Certainly not anyone who acts as if making love is some sort of on stage performance where they expect adulation and applause afterward. I'm speaking from experience here. It's not pretty and never again.

What do I want? Someone funny, witty even. Wit implies at least some basic intelligence. I don't need a scholar or the next rocket scientist, but someone who can carry on a conversation in a broad number of topics would be nice.

They have to like cats, even if Lord Marlowe likes no one. Hey, he's mine and I'm pretty sure he hates me unless I'm filling his bowl with that smelly four-dollar-a-can goop he adores.

Someone who gets that I spend all afternoon and some evenings with people who are waist-high and I'm not looking to have any of my own. I love kids, I love working with them and helping them learn to love ballet, understand that magical world of pain and sacrifice and success. Personal goals and pushing your body to do as you say. I do not want to change diapers and make lunches and join the PTA.

They aren't going to get on me about my weight. Ever. I eat. Leave it at that.

Someone who has a sense of self and doesn't need to be defined by being in a relationship. I don't like to be smothered. If I need personal space, they should be okay giving it to me. Have their own circle of friends and hobbies I don't necessarily have to share. Opinions and views that are their own, don't be afraid to disagree with me. A chorus of "me too" gets old real fast.

That's what I want, we'll see if I ever find it.

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waverlywindsor

July 2009

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