Such lightness, such elegance –finding inspiration in Polina Semionova

 There’s something disarmingly different about Ms. Semionova, a willowy, warm dancer who grew up in Moscow, lives in Berlin and, in May, made her long-awaited debut with American Ballet Theater in “Don Quixote.”

-Gia Kourlas for the NY Times

Just yesterday, the NYT ran a small article – a newslet, really- about Polina Semionova’s contract with the ABT. I hadn’t thought about Ms. Semionova for a while, and yet she was the one, who-albeit indirectly- kicked my posterior off the couch and to an adult beginner ballet class. You see, I was spending my Saturday as usual: on the sofa, browsing YouTube. Then, I stumbled upon this music video

Take a moment. Look at that grace, that elegance!

Wheew… I think I cried after watching that video. In a space of a couple of days, I had a plan. I was going to start ballet, and become just as skilled as Ms. Semionova (oh, the naivete of a ballet newbie…). But I wasn’t sure. What if the other adults were all former ballerinas? I was 100% sure I would look like an idiot. But embarrassing moments are easier to bear if you have a friend to hide behind. So I called my good friend F.

The conversation was something like this (give or take some words)

Me: I really want to start ballet classes.


Me: Yeah, look at Polina Semionova in this video. Look at it.

F: oooukaay. She’s a pro. Ballet is really hard.

(Author’s note: F had been dancing competitively in ballroom and latin dances, and knew what she was talking about. )

Me: Pleaase, please, can you come to adult ballet with me?

F: how about hip hop?

I’m sad to say I chickened out. I didn’t go to the adult ballet class for another year or two. I stayed at home, and watched Ms. Semionova dance.  And then one day, I decided enough is enough. I went to ballet class and have not looked back. Thank you, Ms. Semionova, for being such an inspiring dancer!


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