I commented to a friend the other day that I didn't understand how people could take the same level ballet class year after year and be happy with it. Not to say they're wrong, mind you, but I just don't understand it. I have trouble enough convincing myself to go to class some days knowing there's no specific goal other than just getting better. Better for what?
So I set myself goals. When I first came to this school I was taking their Beginner I class, and it was a challenge. Chatting with the instructor I commented that my goal was to get out of her class. Not because it was her class, because she's a fine instructor, but to move up a level. Part of this is because the influx of new students into the Beginner I class caused the complexity level of the class to vary significantly from class to class, but also because I needed to have a reason for being there. Similarly, I wanted to move into the Advanced Beginner class so I could take classes Thursday nights too, and that's the only class I could hope to take that night.
Of course there are other benefits. While I consider myself somewhat out of shape, being almost 25 lbs above my doctor's recommendation, I was recently reminded that I'm not doing too terribly. I met a friend for dinner the other night and he suggested walking the 20 minutes to the restaurant. I was fine with that, though his initial pace seemed faster than I would have set. Yet part way into the walk he had to slow down, while I was still quite happy. So there's some cardiovascular benefits accruing. But when I'm one of those "What's the use?" moods, somehow that doesn't seem to justify the time.
Sunday morning, after my regular Beginner II class, one of the guys in the dressing room asked me if I'd signed up for the Adult Weekend Workshop in June. I'd seen it on the calendar, but didn't know anything about it. It's a three day workshop (Fri-Sat-Sun) running 9:30am to 4:00pm, approximating life in a ballet company. Each day starts with a typical ballet class, but after the break you learn steps and choreography that lead to a mini-performance Sunday afternoon for friends and family. It's split into two tiers, one for the students taking Intermediate and Advanced classes, and one for those taking Beginner II and Advanced Beginner. Minimum registration is 15 and maximum is 25.
This sounded like fun (for some definition of "fun"), so I signed up. I'm a little bit nervous about it, but it's a goal. A reason to not skip classes. A purpose behind working to improve and not just go through the motions.