That is what is on the back of Grace Holmes t-shirt as I await the start of my first ballet class at the Tapestry Dance Company: Rhythm is a Terrible Thing to Waste.
I’m wondering if Grace has any idea just how much rhythm might be wasted on me. Grace is the director of Tapestry, which has both a professional dance company and an academy with dozens of classes for beginners through advanced, in everything from ballet and tap to belly dancing, flamenco and hip-hop.
I just hope that those few years of ballet class I had as a kid will pay off. I haven’t taken a classical form of dance class in decades. But I do remember the positions, once we go through them. Grace is patient and kind; this is a beginning class and so everyone is at some early level, although most of the others have been coming for a while. The class isn’t slowed down for myself and the other total newcomer, but it’s at a level that we can follow.
Ballet, like yoga, is fluid and beautiful – and like yoga, also requires much more strength than people think when just watching it. And I’m very thankful for all my yoga and pilates and bar work, when we get to the barre here and place our ankles up on it.
The class is highly enjoyable, and I’m able to follow just about everything until we get to the very end. Then, Grace demonstrates a series of quickly changing poses that also involve movement, traveling across the dance floor. Here, my lack of experience kicks in and it’s difficult for me to follow the steps. I just try my best, and am inspired to come back.
Grace’s ballet class is the second class at Tapestry that I tried. The first was Bharata Natyam, an ancient South Indian dance form. I had seen a similar type of dance performed professionally several years ago in Kerala, India and was keen to learn more about it. Unfortunately, the class was more intermediate and the other students had been taking for quite a while, most of them a year or more. The class was interesting for its insight into the dance, but I was hopelessly lost.
The great thing about a place like Tapestry is that there are so many different types of classes, and at all levels, so it’s easy to pick something that is right for you. All of the staff and instructors are incredibly helpful and nice, and I felt welcome and comfortable from the beginning. I plan to try a Modern Dance class as well before the month is up.
And here’s one of the best parts for a beginner – every Saturday, Tapestry offers FREE intro to dance classes. They rotate the style of class; the first week of the month is tap, second is ballet, third is modern and fourth is jazz. So come check it out with other newcomers, with no obligation or cost!
More about Tapestry:
Tapestry Dance Company is a professional, non-profit dance organization founded in 1989 by rhythm tap dancer Acia Gray and ballet/jazz artist Deirdre Strand for the purpose of developing a foundation in multi-form dance performance and education. Initially a performing company of three, the organization has expanded to a major dance organization in Austin. It is home to seven resident artists, a diversified administrative and production support staff and a pre-professional and adult training facility sharing the unique Strand/Gray training syllabus.
Tapestry Dance Company
2302 Western Trails Blvd.
Austin, TX 78745