Biking to Ballet

At the end of 2013, I purchased a Living Social deal to Adagio Ballet & Dance School, 10 adult classes for a really good rate. I was very excited about this – although my childhood experiences with tap and ballet classes don’t hold the happiest of memories, I took classes for a while as an adult living in New York, and really enjoyed it. I’m terrible at it, but really like the hour of full concentration, grace and strength (perceived grace on my part), and the fact that ballet is learning something, rather than just lifting weights (which as you all know, I totally love). I envisioned myself strong and graceful at the end of 10 weeks.

How I envision myself after 10 weeks of classes... (image from Wikepdia).

How I envision myself after 10 weeks of classes… (image from Wikepdia).

However…. When I Googled the bike directions from my apartment to Adagio, the route was up Glebe Road, which is not bike friendly at all. Luckily there is a convenient bus route, so I tried that a few times. But between buses either showing up earlier, or not showing up at all, bad winter weather, and work events, I didn’t end up going as often as I’d hoped.

... instead it was me and a bunch of women who had either never taken a class, or, like me, hadn't taken classes in years. (Image from Disney).

… instead it was me and a bunch of women who had either never taken a class, or, like me, hadn’t taken classes in years. (Image from Disney).

As the weather improved, I decided it was time to make more of an effort to go before the deal expired, so I Googled the route one more time. This time, it showed me a way to get there through neighborhoods! No main roads! Huzzah! Although I got lost a few times in North Arlington’s twisty hills, I eventually found an easy way to get to my ballet class in a mere 15 minutes! It was nice to get there already warmed up, and I was pleased to discover that between BodyPump, yoga, and biking, I wasn’t as sore as I initially anticipated I would be. Yes, different muscles are being used, but I’m apparently in much better shape than I thought. I went regularly for a while, although now with wedding chaos about to start and the end of the spring class term, I won’t be back until the fall.

My bike in front of Adagio Ballet Studio - they need a bike rack!

My bike in front of Adagio Ballet Studio – they need a bike rack!

This whole process also proved that for as bikey as I am, I am also the person for whom bike lanes are intended – I don’t want to ride on main roads with no shoulders and cars whizzing angrily by. I want a route that I feel safe on, so that I am encouraged to ride somewhere regularly. I’d love protected bike lanes, ideally, but I’m good with a painted lane. Just something that gives me space and legitimacy. Or at least quiet neighborhood streets where I can enjoy the yards full of flowers, giant trees, the occasional fox running across the road in the dusk, and a car or pedestrian now and again. It makes such a difference!

I volunteered at their Spring recital to help dress baby ballerinas.

I volunteered at their Spring recital to help dress baby ballerinas.

I really hope they do another Living Social deal, but I think that even if they don’t, I will make the investment and get a 10-class package, and start with classes again in September. My instructor did tell me that I should be able to move up to the next level adult class soon, now that I’m recognizing steps and so on. Yay! That is incentive, for sure! I’ll be a ballerina yet.

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