Ballet is one of if not the most demanding, painful, hard-on-the-body, forms of dance around. We're taught to suck in the tummy (and if it's not flat, well, you need to lose a few pounds), relax the shoulders, keep the ribs in, keep the arms flowing and lyrical, force turnout in our legs and perform cute little hops on pointe, fast precise footwork, big jumps, multiple pirouettes, and generally pound the body into submission. I quit when I went on to college to become an engineer because my body was getting beat to hell by the time I was 18 and I knew I probably wouldn't make it professionally. I know, right? How many people spend 14 years in intensive ballet study then turn around and go all geek? Probably more than I think but I always feel like an original. :)
Still, I see where Mel may be coming from. Ballet is so beautiful to watch and looks like it's so much fun to float across a stage! You just want to dive in and be able to do it all at once!
But you can't as I'm finding out now. I've been taking some classes recently because I want to recapture the joy I used to feel when I danced, taking on a character, and expressing the character's emotion through movement. Except it ain't that easy. Sure, I've stayed in great shape by Jaz.zercising but these old hips don't want to turn out anymore! My knees hurt often and I can't balance worth a darn. That's not even on pointe! Will I ever get back to pointe? I'm not sure. What I do know though, is that I'm having so much fun taking classes again and seeing what this old creaky bod can still do.
And I could care less about the pointe shoes...