at the ballet

Eileen mentioned yesterday that this Saturday, BILLY ELLIOT is sponsoring a Ballet and Boxing Event in Pritzker Park underneath the Tony Tasset installation “EYE.” The Joffrey is handling the dance portion and Lake Shore Athletic Clubs are handling the boxing portion…and they are handing our jump ropes! I am a big fan of jump ropes. [picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=jump+rope&iid=3340076″ src=”http://view3.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/3340076/high-skips/high-skips.jpg?size=500&imageId=3340076″ width=”234″ height=”300″ /]

Years ago, I walked into a ballet class at Chatham College and saw a really big guy jumping rope. I mean REALLY BIG – over 6′ 4″ and 300 lbs. Miss Audrey (I’m not kidding, that is actually what we called her) gathered us together and swore us to secrecy. The young man had been sent by his agent in preparation for his tryout with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The poor guy really stood out in a class of females, ranging in age from 17 to 70 but we welcomed him.

Especially me! At last someone would be a worse dancer than I was! Oh, but I was wrong. Miss Audrey told us to leap (jetes) across the room. I heard a thump and saw the football player had taken out a bunch of ceiling tiles but darn, he landed on his toes with arms extended like Baryshnikov.

After the class I was complaining to my friend Debbie. “Why would a football player who never danced a second in his life take to ballet so quickly?” Debbie replied, “Coordination?” Ah, must be nice.

At the end of the season he didn’t make the Steelers but did join another team for a couple of years. He encouraged me to jump rope as he did – it would help my coordination. Not so much, but I still jump rope.

-Gemma

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Filed under Billy Elliot the Musical, Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre

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