I now know what it feels like to be eight years old again. I was standing in the middle of a ballet class at Dance City this evening when the instructor started talking about port des bras, and I was whisked back to Mrs Meyer's dancing classes, complete with mad pianist and bird cages. I must have done ballet from the age of about five to maybe nine or ten (Girl Guides and then swimming took over), and somehow managed to get through to about Grade 3, despite being very rotund in a pale blue leotard and not at all ballerina-ish. It all took place in a giant shed in the bottom of Mrs Meyer's garden, which smelled of old shoes and sweaty feet, and had a floor that moved up and down as lots of little girls pranced about. I remember plies, jetes, port des bras and all sorts of foreign words that sounded impossibly exotic.
Dance City didn't smell. And the floor didn't move about at all. The words were no less exotic, but I discovered I am nowhere near as flexible as I was age eight (even if I'm a lot less rotund now).