By MARY WARD
With my leg above my head.
And a slightly awkward set up behind me because my sisters and I had to move a lounge to find a decent spot to take this photo as my ability to judge when sunset will occur is quite poor and, thus, my vision of this occurring in the backyard was thwarted.
So, yeah. Mind the power cords.
But, back to me with my leg above my head.
I dance. I’ve danced since I was eight years old. Nothing too serious – just me and a bunch of friends (taught by one of said friends’ mums) in a local community hall – which is why dance enthusiasts will note that my foot in this picture is embarrassingly sickled. Apologies.
I’ve done a few eisteddfods as a member of a dance troupe here and there, too, but not a lot of the big ones, and with not a huge amount of success (*cough* 1st in 15/u jazz at the City of Ryde Eisteddfod 2008 *cough*).
But, when I tell people that I am a dancer, I get a bit of a strange look.
Because I don’t really look like one.
This is not a self-deprecating statement. It’s a matter of fact. I don’t have the slender legs of a prima ballerina. My broad shoulders bear no resemblance to those of the mannequins presumably used by the leotard design team at Bloch.
I have both boobs and a butt. They have been created in the customary way: by the fatty tissue that is biologically required to engineer those body parts, but that is rarely a feature of the dancer’s body.
The dancer’s body: There was a stage where not having one really annoyed me. Over a decade dancing and yet no dancer’s physique to show for it? What a rort! All those fee statements later and my parents still had a daughter who looked nothing like Margot Fonteyn.
Even now, although I like to think that I am older and wiser, I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and feel out of place. Awkward. Like I should pack up and go home because this is a fun thing for thin, hot people and that is a club that would turn me away at the door.
But, then, I need to remind myself:
My legs are strong, with a strength that comes from the muscle mass that they carry. My splits are excellent, because: gravity (duh.) My solid inner core can pull off pirouettes, even though the tummy it’s sitting behind has taken out a permanent residency.
Don’t get me wrong – there are some parts of my body that can be a hindrance. I’m really bottom-heavy, so things that involve my top half lifting my bottom half are an instant veto (handstands – here’s looking at you.)