Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Ballet Week - Monday Memory

I got the idea for "Ballet Week - Memory per day" from Hannah's Blog
The idea is to share a memory every day for one week, a memory of ballet and me.

I want to write about how I began taking ballet classes. Where did it all come from? Why? I blame my dear mother for it all! ...but at the same time: Thank You, mom! :)

Photo from weheartit.com

Of course I can't remember everything exactly as it was, since I was quite young. Mom took aerobics at this dance school in our town and they had all sorts of dance classes, from kids to teens and older. I have some memories of being at these "children's dance" classes, usually in the bigger studio but sometimes in the smaller one. Once I'd cut my finger with a bread knife and had ONE stitch on it, with a white bandage tube over. A girl asked me (very condescendingly), what was That Thing on my finger... About the "routines" in chidren's dance I don't remember basically anything. Except that I didn't like it when we sat on the floor, legs strait in front of us, and had to push our heads to our knees. (These days it's not a problem, haha.) I've got some photos of my first performances, but they're glued to an album. Have to try to scan them some day!

This is almost like our skirt in Bella Bimba! (photo from weheartit.com)

These are some of what we had as coreographies:
- Täti Moonika / Auntie Monica (a kiddies' song about an aunt who goes to the market, there are different objects wobbling as she walks)
- Siili menee lypsylle / Hedgehog goes milking a cow (also a kiddies' song about, well, a hedgehog and her babies going to get some food)
- Bella Bimba (a dancing doll)
- Some song with mice in it (in the photos we've mice costumes)

At the age of 6,5 (we go to school in the year when we turn 7 - my bday's in December) I started taking Real Ballet classes. Our teacher was a former prima ballerina from the National ballet (of Finland), although it didn't mean So much to me as a small kid. But these days (yet again) it feels somewhat Amazing... I remember Arja having always her dark hair in a neat some sort of bun, many times a dark blue long-sleeved leo with a knee-length skirt. And teaching shoes something like this:


Our dance school was located in the basement floor of a big building in the center. The studios had small windows near the ceiling. Also I remember the dressing room, always had my stuff on the same side of it. The lobby was smallish, but there was a tiny fridge and sodas in it to buy! Usually I didn't have any, but Sometimes when waiting for mom (from her aerobics) I had an apple soda. The flavor disappeared from the markets for Years, but now it's there again. And I like it!
We had a white tank leo for a long time (bought new one as the old got small). Usually white tights with it. And white soft shoes, with elastic sown once over the foot. There was an open class for parents to see, I think once every semester? My mom used to come for Many years. The last time she came she was the only one. But I still liked it. So did my teacher, as by that time she'd known me/us for a long time. I've got some photos from one of these classes - we performed a bit of Swan Lake in the end! With turqoise tutus!

Ballet was something that stayed in my life almost as long as I was in school (elementary, beginning of high school). Just like music studies. So many memories to go with it. I like thinking about them. Also it always makes me want to meet my first teacher once more. Don't think it will ever happen, as she's no longer teaching anywhere and I have no connection to her... But who knows? Maybe we'll bumb into each other at the Opera house some day, watching a ballet :) I'd like to tell her how much she affected my life (though it didn't show in the end). And that I've started again. And I love it! Just to say hi from her old pupil Iepukka (as she used to call me, special nick name).

Good times. (Also it kept me in excellent shape ;))

Photo from weheartit.com

 More Ballet Memories to come later on this week :)

p.s. I talked with mom today (Tuesday 1st November). She said that we actually might have started our classes (aerobics - children's dance) at the same time! She didn't remember precisely. When asked why dance classes for me, she laughed and said that she didn't want to put me in hockey / soccer training :D And also I seemed to enjoy the dancing a lot, liked going there etc, so it continued. 


  1. Oh wow Eeva! It was so lovely to read about your childhood ballet! It's interesting to have a peek into what it's like as a child. How I wish my mum would've taken me to ballet classes as a kid! Oh well - better late than never!

    I think it's great to start learning all kinds of skills already as a child - it'll bring such joy for the rest of the life!

    Looking forward to reading your next ballet memory! You and ballet go way back, I'm sure there are a lot of memories to share. Hopefully you get to scan those pictures too! : )

  2. Thanks Iina :)

    I think I have to interview mom a bit more about this subject. For example how did she come up with the idea of "putting" me to dance classes. And how did it become ballet and not some other type.

    It's funny that my current profession got chosen originally kind of same way. I mean, it wasn't me who put me together with flute. But I don't regret it either ;)

    Have to try scanning soon, because I've been planning it so long!

  3. Oh that's very interesting about how and by who made those choices with such longterm effects! Your mum did quite well! : )

    The hobbies I had as a kid I quit as a teenager - only to rediscover as a grown-up! And career choice? I chose something complitely not sensible..but my parents always supported me with it, which I highly appreciate. I guess our family always had a positive attitude towards the arts - if that hadn't been the case, I'm sure it would have been harder to make that choice.

  4. I wish my mum (or anyone) had taken me to ballet as a child. Fortunately I had the good idea and sense to take myself there as an adult! Better late than never, just like Iina said. :)

    The again, I know many who were taken to ballet as kids, but ended up hating it! Maybe the school was wrong, or the teacher or something else. Better to have fantastic teachers now!

    Your first ballet teacher is always special - if you´re lucky to have found a good one. And you did! :)

  5. I'd say Exactly the same, Better late than never. And in today's world it's possible for grown-ups to start learning ballet. In my teen years there were absolutely no groups for "old" starters. Only for kids. So we are Lucky :)