The outfit I will never wear again…

Sunday, 17 September 2017

When I was six years old I was a ballerina. Okay so not in the Pina Bausch kind of way, in the Grade One, aced my Teddy Bear Roll kind of way. But I was six so by all accounts I was a ballerina. Now we ballerinas had it okay in terms of our get up. We wore dusty pink leotards so I was quite happy with that. Our skirts, doused in snowdrops, fluttered as we plié-d and our satin feet would be embellished with a gold star for every perfect point. It was elegant. It was classic. It was ballet. But you know what? It just wasn’t what those damn tap dancers wore.

Oh the tap dancers. They were in the room just across the hall. After our class had taken a bow and trotted out of the studio I had to watch as the tap class lined up ready for some kick-ball-changes, or whatever it was they did because I wouldn’t know because I did ballet and I wore a pink leotard. In tap, oh in tap, you got to wear a metallic sky blue UNITARD. A unitard, just like Britney NB. This was the nineties and we loved Britney, in fact we still love Britney. And they wore bright white tap shoes that laced up the front. You always knew a tap girl was headed your way when you heard the sound of those shoes sashaying. I wanted to be a tap girl, I wanted the world to know I was about to turn the corner. Yes, we ballet dancers might’ve flurried around with scarves that smelt distinctly like your grandma’s perfume but the tap class could click and clack all over the room, jazz hands and all. We were cute, we were polished but the tap costume was a little bolder, brasher, a whole lot more in your face. I just wanted to be that sassy.

One day after ballet class on the drive home I, my graceful six-year old ballerina self, turned to my mother and told her I wanted to learn to tap dance and most importantly I wanted a metallic sky blue unitard. No, I had to have one. To which my mum replied you cannot start the class just because you want the outfit. Looking back on that now I’m not sure the lady who has a hat for every event, occasion and most likely class thinks that at all. But I expect unitards were quite the splurge, thanks to Britney probably.

So that was that I was just not destined to look as vivacious as the tap dancers. I’ve still never owned a metallic, sky blue unitard, would you believe it? I also never took up Irish dancing despite loving the lavish emerald green dresses my friends wore when they performed their recital in assembly that time. Alas, I was to remain a ballerina but actually I probably would wear that outfit again.

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