As I said yesterday, today's challenge is an activity rather than a piece of work and I thought you might like a little background information as it might seem like it's come out of nowhere otherwise.
When I was growing up, my passion was for ballet and I lived and breathed it as much as possibly could. I wasn't the best dancer in the world but I was very fortunate to attend a ballet school where they made you feel like you were. I had a few teachers over the years but the most influential to me was Sandra McAuliffe who had also trained at the school and was the principal for thirty years. Sandra made everyone feel special, no matter what your ability or size, every child that passed through the school went because they wanted to and because of this, no one ever really left and friendships were forged when very young and kept.
Murilova Ballet School saw me through some tough times, it was a constant and when you walked in, people greeted you like the old friend that you were, so you were able to leave all your troubles at the door. When Sandra retired a couple of years ago she had the foresight to offer the school to one of my oldest friends, Tina Marsh.
Tina trained there and returned whenever she could to help out, take class and we have been friends for over thirty years, so it was a complete surprise last year when she gave me the happy news that she was pregnant and asked me to be her maternity cover! Now, I'd always kept my hand in teaching a few classes here and there, and even had my own school at one point but in charge of Murilova? Did she trust me enough?
So last year saw me teaching both art in my studio and then travelling across to the Murilova studio teaching ballet, I had the most fantastic time and everyone was so lovely to me, it felt like coming home again.
So, why is this a challenge that I'm back teaching ballet again? That question has many facets, the most obvious being that Tina has temporarily given me the adult class to be in charge of while her beautiful boy Max is so young. However she has also asked me to take on training two students in preparation for their exams and I'm both excited and feeling the responsibility. The other challenge is proving to people that you don't need to look like Darcy Bussell to be able to dance, for goodness' sake look at me!
In the spirit of the challenge, I'm posting a painting that I did last year as it is of Tina, just before she announced her pregnancy and gave me the honour of returning to my favourite ballet school. I hope you all have somewhere that makes you feel as invincible as Murilova does for me.