Dancing in My Dreams

Several times after art modeling I have been asked if I am a dancer. The question never fails to thrill me, even though the answer is, sadly, no. But just knowing that I give that impression is totally awesome. I’ve always regretted that I never took dance as a girl, specifically ballet. I really, really wanted to and probably should have pushed my parents to sign me up for classes. There was even a dance studio just a few blocks from my house. I would see girls going into the building and was envious. I pictured them in their ballet shoes and tights, practicing at the barre, doing plies, being elegant, graceful and beautiful.

Dance Class by Edgar Degas:

Maybe this subject is on my mind lately because of the movie “Black Swan” which is much talked about these days. I haven’t seen it yet. From what I hear it’s quite terrifying! But the movie isn’t really relevant. My childhood desire was never to become a professional star dancer or prima ballerina. I possess neither the drive, toughness, nor the competitive nature for that. That’s not what I’m made of. I simply wanted to take ballet classes for the poise, the music, the cute outfits, and the movement. Ah, the movement.

Charles Amable Lenoir’s A Dance By the Sea:

So perhaps it’s natural that I eventually fell into art modeling, a profession that emphasizes movement of the body and expression through physicality. Perhaps it symbolizes my latent, unrealized dream of being a dancer. I recognize that dancing and modeling are two very different things. But we have some common ground to be sure, particularly with regard to short pose art modeling. Both dancers and models engage in extension, balance, flexibility, and stretching. Lots of stretching! In a way, you could think of art modeling as “dancing” without the technique. After all, a “pose” is a frozen moment of movement. And dancers do, without question, make excellent art models.

La Danse Amoureuse, by Gustave Clarence Rodolphe Boulanger:

So I’ve come to terms with the reality that, at 42 years old, my chance to train as a dancer is long gone. But I do have art modeling. Instead of a dance studio, I have art studios. Instead of leotards and little skirts, I have my nude body. Instead of music to accompany me, I have the silent concentration of artists. Not too shabby 🙂

Let’s have a dance class-inspired “Music Monday”. A popular composition for ballet practice, this is Beethoven’s “Fur Elise”:

10 thoughts on “Dancing in My Dreams

  1. Fred says:

    Claudia, you are a dancer!

  2. Thom says:

    Great posting, I completely agree with your observations, and thoughts. I think many of my Art models for my photography would agree too!

  3. Bill says:

    You know, if this is a real regret, why don’t you go for it? You wouldn’t become a professional dancer, of course, but maybe that wouldn’t be the goal.
    I always wanted to play the piano but we couldn’t afford it when I was a kid. But then, when I was in my 30’s, I bought a house that came with one. Well, I was the only person in the local music school taking beginner lessons who was over the age of 8. I never really became any good at it, but I had the experience.

    • artmodel says:

      Bill,

      Yes, I have thought about going for it. In fact, I even Googled adult dance classes here in New York. They’re out there for sure. Maybe I should give it a shot? I’m doing it purely for enjoyment so what do I have to lose?

      Thanks for sharing your story about the piano lessons, and thanks for the encouragement!

      Claudia

  4. “After all, a “pose” is a frozen moment of movement. ”

    nice

  5. Three great choices, each evoking a different emotional response but having a common theme, Claudia.

  6. violinhunter says:

    Well, I know you love ballet – obviously, but I believe you would make a marvelous mambo, salsa, and tango dancer. Don’t ask me why I believe that – I’m sure I’m right about that.

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