Slice of Life- 18/31- If only I was a girl. Sigh!

As part of my commenting this morning, I saw a Slice about a secret revealed.  That triggered thoughts about things most people did not know about me.  It’s like that game, Two Truths and a Lie.  When I play this game, I always reveal that I was in The Nutcracker when I was in 5th grade with Ballet West.  The part that makes that a bit interesting is that even though I sported long, brown curls and a slightly girlish figure, my named appeared on the cast list as Party Boy.

Now those of you familiar with the ballet know that the party scene is such fun!  And since training came from a small studio in a small town, the fact that I had been chosen for any role was considered a great compliment. But I was playing a boy!  Playing a boy next to those charming young ladies, dressed in layers of ruffles, slips, petticoats, and ribboned balled shoes.  Their long ringlets were topped with velvet bows.  And there I was in my brown suit, ruffled collar and sleeves, and a slip of a tie.  The black shoes  shot out from beneath the knickers and white tights. My curls were wrangled into a tight bun and  hairnet, hidden under an itchy cap.

And the dancing differed as well.  While the girls twirled and curtsied, swaying their  baby dolls to the lulling strands of  Tchaikovsky, the “male” choreography showcased our ability to briskly march, bow at the waist, and toot a plastic horn.

How I envied those fellow female ballerinas as we doggedly learned and rehearsed the beloved choreography.  When opening night arrived, all the party families gathered behind the scrim, anticipating our entrance that would herald the beginning of the performance.  And at that moment, ballet magic struck. It didn’t matter what I was wearing or what steps I was performing…I was a dancer!

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3 thoughts on “Slice of Life- 18/31- If only I was a girl. Sigh!

  1. I so appreciate reading this today. I am reading books about gender roles with my 3rd graders and this fits in so well with what we are studying in books like “William Wants a Doll” and “Oliver Button is a Sissy”– thank you so much for sharing with us.

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    1. That reminds of the song Glad To Have a Friend Like You from Free To Be- You and Me. It’s an early 70’s (or late 60’s) song about accepting ourselves. I think your students would love it. Maybe it’s on YouTube.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One of the crowning glories of my life was getting to be the bareback dancer (in red, spangly leotard) rather than a horse (in white turtleneck and ears), due entirely to being the right height at right moment, in my 4th grade ballet pageant. Love that you found your way to being a dancer, no matter what the costume.

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