"Romeo and Juliet" and the Hard Parts of Love
by Ada Calhoun
Whenever I’m lucky enough to attend a ballet, I find myself remembering how hard I found dancing. As a little girl growing up in New York in the 1980s, I took classes at the Joffrey Ballet at their upstairs studio on Sixth Avenue and Tenth Street. The windows open, trucks barreling up the avenue below, I learned the five positions and did barre exercises in my powder blue leotard until it got difficult.
It got difficult fast.
“The teacher is tough on you because you’re good,” said my mother, who was a dancer in her childhood. “That’s how ballet works.”
I went with this theory until after some months I began to notice that the teachers were hard on everyone.