Writing Words With the Tips of My Toes
This is my moniker. This is the design of my moniker.
I have this design on a tank top I sometimes wear to dance class. This is my Facebook header, my Twitter background design, a design on my Tumblr–and it would be a design on this blog, but I have a hard time incorporating it. So what does this moniker mean? Is it simply my being a dancer that happens to write or a writer that happens to dance? It can be, but it means so much more.
Ballet means the world to me because I do have this illness called fibromyalgia, and many with fibro can’t even conceive being able to do ballet. But because I started ballet before fibro struck me, I can. Ballet helps my fibro. Ballet keeps me from being as stiff as I could be, keeps my muscles and bones strong, my immune system in check, even helps with my depression. When I cannot write, ballet is what I retreat to.
I love that with ballet, it is the only thing I can think about when I am doing it. I feel normal, myself, on a perfect plane of existence where that moment is so precious and neither my future nor past matter. I love pointe work. I am passionate about it. The ability to even do pointe work is not something I take for granted, for it takes immense strength that I am blessed with.
Ballet helps immensely with my depression BECAUSE I am able to concentrate on only it. It is physical exercise where there are goals to be set and improvements to be made, and I can feel pride each and every time I take class because I improved on at least SOMETHING, be it a jump, a turn, or an exercise. I participated in a recital last Saturday and was so proud of all three roles I performed in. At my skill level, I don’t think I could have done them better…at least in that moment. Here is a picture of me in my favorite role: Wind in Columbia County Ballet’s Roar of Love.
So what does this have to do with writing? A lot actually. Writers need a life outside of writing to glean more life experience to add flavor to said writing. Dance has taught me confidence comes in many forms, that friendships can be made with any one, no matter the age; people are at their best when they’re doing something they love; a love for life should be unconditional, even when feeling down or sad; dreams can be achieved at any age; you cannot put down something until you have tried it; and there is boundless good in this world–and I can see this, even when depressed.
My mental illness has also given me greater life experience, as I am more sensitive toward people, which can contribute to better character development. Ballet makes certain my mental illness does not control me but I control it and try to utilize whatever I experience in a bipolar episode for something positive. All this experience gives me the potential to create stronger characters with stronger backgrounds that fit into powerful stories.
So even when I cannot write, ballet makes certain that life remains positive for me so that when I do write, I can write with the sensitivity needed of any great author. Thus, I am The Dancing Writer because without ballet, the writing would not have as much life or zest for me. My depressive episodes would get the best of me, and I would forget that the writing will always be there. And that is just it. The writing will always be there, but the dancing may not be.