I don't know if I was a good dancer. I was good enough. But, I loved it. I loved it enough to assist in teaching toddlers and elementary-aged kids, though communicating with kids has never been my forte (my claim at vampirism in answer to, "why do you have such sharp teeth?" notwithstanding).
I still, over a decade later, keep this tidbit of my past on my resume, a line I cannot delete, though I know perhaps I should. I'm proud of this--that I loved ballet so much, I taught classes in exchange for classes of my own. Only as a teenager can one get away with working for dance classes, and perhaps the memory of that freedom, that lack of responsibility and bills, keeps that entry on my resume.
I want this to say something to potential employers. The employer who glances over my resume and comments, "You were paid in dance classes? You sure did have initiative. You knew what you wanted and you went for it," is the person I want to work for. Initiative, ambition, the whole just do it thing: I'm not good at it as an adult. I'm a waffler, a pauser, a ponderer. Once I stole a man's phone number and called him, and now he is my husband. And once, I volunteered to work for dance lessons.
There's another reason I leave the ballet thing on my resume: at one time, dance was not just a hobby, it was my job. Ballet is useless for toddlers, just an excuse to let them wear pretty costumes while socializing them. I spent most of my time with the toddler class wrangling them into straight lines and saying a private prayer that my adult conversations never turned as bland as that of their parents waiting in the lobby (I walked through many a conversation about paint). Six, seven, eight-year-olds, though--that's when you start seeing the spark in them. When I moved, they repeated, to the best of their (still slightly uncoordinated) ability. When I pointed down at my feet in first and second position (third and beyond a little complicated for them), the turned their little toes out astutely.
I donned a leotard several days a week, happily, and I long for those days again.
I daydream now, from time to time, usually on the long commute to work, where I crunch numbers and push papers, about what my life would've been like had I kept dancing. I would have more control over and a better relationship with my body, for one thing. Perhaps I'd be a teacher now, still wearing my leotard out to the grocery store post-class, covered in a tunic or coat, the convertible feet of my stockings pulled up around my shins in a bunch. Maybe my life would be more physical and creative. Maybe I'd be more of an active participant in things, having graduated from that first ambitious job negotiation into greater ones, even more to my advantage.
I leave this entry on my resume for the time being.