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05.19.99 diary entry



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Funny Story #1: The Cotillion Next Door
Monday, 10.11.04


Quote of the Day:
�The road to mediocrity is paved with empty ketchup packets.�
Taco Bell mild sauce packet


I started ballet lessons at a fairly serious dance studio in Tallahassee when I was in the ninth grade. I had been going to another studio since I was about four years old, but the instruction there wasn�t the best so I wanted to find someplace better. It turned out that my ballet teacher at the new studio was the same woman my mom had taken lessons from when she was pregnant with me. I am constantly reminded that Tallahassee just isn�t a very big city. But that�s another story.

The studio had two classrooms with a sitting area in between. Windows looked into both classrooms from the sitting area so parents could watch their little girls dance around like fairy princesses. This rarely happened during my classes since I was a teenager by the time I started classes at the studio and we had given up on the idea of being fairy princesses. But when I was a junior in high school there was no longer a senior jazz class in the classroom opposite ours, as there had always been before, but a cotillion class instead. It wasn�t long after the classes started that we began having spectators at our window.

The kids in the cotillion class were about thirteen years old and they all looked very awkward trying to learn to dance with members of the opposite sex that they could hardly bring themselves to touch. Usually the room was segregated with boys on one side and girls on the other unless the instructor, who always wore pantyhose to match her high-heeled shoes (which came is all colors of the rainbow), made them intermingle. The kids got two breaks during their class and the boys and girls remained separate the whole time, but that might have had something to do with the way the boys spent their breaks. When to doors to the other classroom opened the senior ballerinas came to expect an audience of thirteen year-old boys to appear at our window with their noses practically pressed up against the glass. Needless to say this was a bit disconcerting. Our teacher usually closed the blinds as soon as she noticed their breath fogging up the glass, but in the few minutes before she did the boys got their opportunity to stare at the older girls in skimpy clothes. Besides the ballerinas, this behavior didn�t sit well with the thirteen year-old girls in the cotillion class either because they wanted the boys� attentions, even if they wouldn�t admit it.

It probably was silly of us to be smug about turning the heads of prepubescent boys, but we were anyway. As ballerinas were supposed to have attitude while we were dancing and sometimes that attitude remained after we left the dance floor. Our egos were fed by the boys who loved us and the girls who were jealous of us, no matter how old they were.

-Lauren Gleason