Tuesday evening Susan and I briefly discussed the state of the proposed class. She said something about visiting MSD to find out where the place was, and maybe have a chat with Kim about them hosting this class. Trying a new tack I asked her if I would see her there Thursday, and she said she might stop in and take barre.
This evening I was hopeful that Susan would show up, but wasn't too surprised when she didn't. At the break after barre I asked Kim if she or one of her instructors might be interested in teaching an adult pointe class, in case Susan decided she didn't have time. Kim made it very clear that she was not interested in teaching any more classes, and added that Mané, who teaches some of the adult classes at MSB and at TWB, was not interested either.
Mané joined the conversation at this point, and we had a little chat about adults taking pointe. My argument has always been:
- A sizeable minority of adults want to take classes en pointe.
- Proper training is essential to minimize the risk of injury.
- There are no pointe classes available for adults in this area.
- Lacking classes, adults put themselves at greater risk trying to learn pointe work on their own, perhaps with some pointers from sympathetic instructors but not with proper supervision and guidance.
Why, you might ask? Because not everyone is physically capable of going on pointe, and telling them that they can't is too heartbreaking. Yes, to avoid having to say no to those who may not be fit enough, no one gets to take a proper class. And this seems to be a common view among those I've talked with.
What happens instead? People try to teach themselves. At best they risk learning bad habits that then have to be unlearned. At worst they suffer serious physical injuries that could have been avoided had someone told them "this would be very risky for you, and you shouldn't try it".
I'm not criticizing Mané; she's only the most recent person to express this view. I know it's really tough to tell someone who has been dreaming about something that they aren't going to be able to experience that dream. I suspect one of the reasons that Susan is open to the possibility is that I pitched it as a series class with no drop-ins, and requiring instructor approval before registering. And she's repeated those requirements back to me almost every time we've talked about it.
But I'm frustrated. I'm pretty sure that making this class happen depends heavily on maintaining the good will of all involved, which kinda nixes my urge to get in peoples faces and demand an explanation for the lack of progress. I'm increasingly worried that I may not be able to find another instructor if Susan decides she can't spare the time. I need to back off for a while, but I'm worried that means it'll never happen.
Several people have asked why I'm trying so hard to make this class happen. I don't know. The only explanation I can give is that I'm a fixer -- when I see a problem I want to fix it. I can't fix our politics. I can't fix the conflict with North Korea. I can't fix the disaster in Puerto Rico. But maybe I can fix the lack of an adult pointe class?