when the museum was empty : a dance {photos by britt chudleigh}


there's only one thing to do in an empty room filled with
sometimes i just can't help myself. my body starts moving, and i find
that i really don't care if the cameras come out and shutters start clicking.
i am completely awkward when someone is trying to take my portrait,
but oh how i don't mind at all if they snap a few photos of me if i am moving,
dancing, laughing, breathing, living.

when i was in elementary school i was quite the tomboy--
in fact, for years i mistook a picture of myself for a picture of my brother.
yep, turns out that was me in my chicago bulls hat, all black t-shirt and b-ball shorts
holding up my quilt (made by my sweet mom) standing near the garden.

i prided myself on the fact that i usually got picked at recess for the b-ball games before many of the boys.
i was good at basketball, and boy was i competitive. i was out there to prove i was stronger, better, faster.
after basketball my interests moved to soccer. and i worked hard at my halfback position, priding myself that i did the most running, the most assisting, and some goal-making as well.

then one day at recess i noticed all of my girlfriends practicing their tour jete's...
and i wanted in.

thankfully my mom agreed to sign me up for ballet lessons almost immediately.
so this 11-year-old tomboy began to try to catch up with her friends who had
been tendu-ing and pirouette-ing since the age of three or four.
perhaps this is when i first began to learn that you're never too old to start something.

however, i was well aware of my lack of skill, and tried hard to advance.
eventually i was placed in a class with some of the older girls
which was a joy to dance with them, and simultaneously agony as i tried to match their skill.

but one of my most favorite things about my dancing years was the atmosphere of the classroom:
our elegant, yet stern, teacher always wore a black leotard with a drapey sweater, and pale peach shoes.
her hair was long, and her movements were exact and graceful.
and then there was our pianist. he could play anything. his classical repertoire was impressive,
and i loved barre exercises thanks to his accompaniment.

nowadays i do wish i would have continued dancing after high school.
i try to find classes here and there to attend, and lately i've been enjoying a
"yoga at the barre" class every tuesday night. it feels good to be graceful and strong.

{photos by britt chudleigh}


Unknown said...

I love your statement 'you're never too old to start something'! It's a concept I'm beginning to test out at 25 when my inner-critic says 'You're too old to try that!' Thank you, as always, for your wonderful inspiration to live a full life!

Ann Marie said...

Hannah, I just started violin lessons two years ago at the age on 29...never too old ;)

Ginny said...

I too love your statement! You are inspiring!

Kristina said...

Loving the pictures - and you are right, one is never too old to learn something new!!
Kristina x

Meet Me In the Morning said...

great photos! makes me want to leap around my house. cute bag, too!

lucent imagery said...

You are beautiful in your moment of carefree dancing! What fun pictures. You made me recall my ballet dancing, that elegance and gracefulness of movement will always appeal. I sometimes wish I hadn't stopped playing the flute. Making music is a beautiful thing.

Anonymous said...

Love Britt's photos and your natural movements. This serie makes me want for more. You look great Ann!

Relyn Lawson said...

This is marvelous, wonderful. These photos - they'll be something you treasure in the years ahead.

Elisa {With Grace and Eve} said...

I adore these photos! Amazing! And I wish I could dance... x

maria-lynn said...

where did you get your jacket???