However ballet fascinated me despite my lack of talent.
I went through several years of exams and performed to a lot of the staple ballet music pieces such as Greensleeves and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. I wore tutus (those things are scratchy as anything), learned to apply my own stage makeup, and practiced – though never mastered – pirouettes.
There was one thing that I never did: wear pointe shoes.
Sadly my proneness to injury got the better of me in my teens. I had terribly weak ankles caused by injuries (one of which involved me falling in front of a huge audience and having to be carried off stage – not fun) and flat feet. My podiatrist warned me that training in pointe shoes could very well mean a broken ankle and further damage to my feet.
I cried and cried and cried when I gave up ballet. Though I knew I had no real dance career ahead of me, seeing all my peers move forward while I was forced to give up was very upsetting (type-A sixteen year old girls do NOT handle this stuff well!)
However, my years of ballet study did come in handy when I started writing. In 2012 when I sat down to start my very first book (which later became Only The Brave Try Ballet.) I drew on all that fascination, experience and knowledge to write my professional ballerina heroine, Jasmine. I drew on the angst I experienced all those years ago when I was unable to continue dancing as well as my experience of some terrible injuries (one which put my out of actions for several months) to make Jasmine’s conflict and character more believable.
Both of my current books for Harlequin KISS feature former professional ballerinas as heroines because it’s something I love writing about.
Question: are you a ballet or dance fan? If not, what was your favourite hobby growing up?