A brand new adult ballet student asked me if she would ever feel less awkward in class. I told her that I certainly hope not. My mom was standing in the office with me and nudged me as if I said something wrong. And herein lies the difference between ballet dancers and their moms. Ballet dancers know (or learn rather quickly) -if it starts to feel good, something is going wrong. I don’t know that I should expect to see new adult ballet student in class again this week.
The point is, ballet feels unnatural. And it hurts. And frankly, I’ve asked myself more times than I’d like to admit why we dancers continue to subjects ourselves to this form of ego-whooping pain. That work never stops (unless you’re not getting better). Fortunately, the way it looks and the way it feels are different. That's why our moms think it's easy.
And that’s what makes it beautiful. You should be forever striving for an unattainable goal. As you get closer, it seems farther away. That doesn’t mean you don’t get better in the process. And that doesn’t mean it doesn’t look entirely natural.
The most beautiful dancers are dissatisfied with their technique. They have to be. If they were not striving, reaching, working in every single movement, they would not be doing ballet. And no one would care, and no one would buy a ticket.
Note well that this is different than 'dance'. Dance is a natural birthright. Ballet freakin' hurts.