Pursuing Perfection

A year ago I made a decision that changed my whole life. After nearly a year of contemplation I choose to hang up my pointe shoes, and leave my ballet company. At the time I hadn’t realized it, but I was also walking away from the only culture I had ever known.

My exit from the stage was not completely voluntary; over the course of two years I completely burned out. It was subtle at first, but soon I realized I was waking up exhausted, dreading the long day of rehearsals ahead of me. The joy of dancing had ceased to override the intense pain it caused my body. My aching joints and bloody toes became louder than the music, and I lost my rhythm.

The very last straw was when I spent the summer in New York. I was to spend it dancing with a notable classical ballet company in hopes of getting a spot in their company.

I was ecstatic for my first day of rehearsals. I was so close to what I had spent my life working towards. I thought this was it, years of blood sweat and tears culminating on that one day. In the morning I was out of bed, showered, and ready to go an hour early. I had my customary banana for breakfast and practically skipped all the way to the studio.

I was almost bouncing out of my pointe shoes by the time head of the company walked in to make introductions. Maybe “walked” is the wrong word. He paraded in with the grace and authority only afforded to a Ballet Master.

I expected him to welcome us, wish us luck, and send us to the warm up class. Instead what he said caused the bone-deep exhaustion that had been creeping up on me all year to take hold. I am sure he just meant to make sure we had no illusions about how hard the summer would be, but after a lifetime of this none of us had any illusions left.

After a brief introduction, he proceeded to lecture us about our weight, saying that only the dancers with the “ideal” bodies would make it into this world, into his company. He told us that the perfect ballet body was to be thin, graceful, and tall, but not too tall. We were to have small hips and bust, and large feet. Our torso was to be small and our arms and legs to be long. “It is something you have to be born with,” he said. “If you don’t have it already you will never get it.”

I look around the room at the group of the thinnest, most dedicated women I had ever seen. Not one, myself included, looked happy. Even those with what I thought to be the perfect body were eyeing themselves in the mirror with distain.

I thought back to the ballet class I’d attended a year earlier. Our teacher instructed us to jump up and down in front of a mirror, telling us if anything jiggled we weren’t thin enough. I remember wishing I’d taken that more to heart, wishing I could have eaten less, worked out more. I would have done anything to look like the perfect ballerina.

The next two months became a struggle. Every morning I would wake exhausted. At lunch I would feel guilty for every calorie I ate. After six hours of dancing I would eat dinner filled with contempt for my lack of self-control. By the end of the audition I could barely dance, much less get a spot in the company.

I returned home disappointed, and even though I was significantly skinner, all I could think of was the girls just a bit smaller than me who’d made the cut. I had stopped considering technique and strength as a factor in what made a great dancer; I only saw weight.

Then one morning I woke up to my alarm blaring and I realized I couldn’t go to class. I started thinking of the ballerinas I knew, the ones I nearly worshiped for their perfection. I realized how ugly the need for such perfection had made them. They beat themselves up every time they fell off pointe, they obsessed over the image of themselves in the mirror. I realized what they had to sacrifice: they didn’t go out with friends, they didn’t go to school, they didn’t live life. They lived to dance.

While I will always understand, always miss that singular focus, I realized I wanted to do so much more. I wanted to travel, finish school, form relationships – and I wanted to have a life outside of dance.

So later that day I rolled out of bed for the second time and laden with guilt I walked to the offices of my ballet company. I told them I would not be returning for the fall season. I would not be returning to dance at all.

With that I left everything I knew behind.

I had some school under my belt and I decided to return, to find a career in a healthier field. To stay in shape I started boxing, something I had done when I was younger, before ballet took over my whole life. I found bliss in a sport I could do without the pressure of perfection hanging over my head.

As my eating got healthier I started to gain weight. My breasts swelled and my hips widened. It was as horrifying as the first signs of puberty were when I was younger.   “What are these curves and why do I no longer look like a boy?!?”

I realized I had no realistic idea of what a body should look like. So I decided I would love myself for whatever I looked like that day, not put expectations on what I should look like. I still struggle with that; I don’t think I will ever get rid of the small ballet master that lives in my head and yells at every imperfection. But I have managed to gag her pretty well.

I realize that I will never fully shake the claws ballet has in me. I still miss the dancing, the feeling of flying across a stage, but I am happy to no longer be consumed by that culture.


Your Art

I want to know you, your paint strokes and stained glass. I want to see the clay that formed you, the songbird that kissed its voice into your lips.

I want to know you through the only medium you ever truly speak. Let me know your art.

Not just your best, your perfection. Show me you, laid bare on the canvas.

I don’t want to know your work carved into the steps of a palace. I do not want to see it on stage, hung on walls, or bound in leather.

For none of that is your art; it is your attempt at perfection. Do not show me what you think is best. That may be art, but it is not you.

Paint me the colors of your soul on the days you can’t get out of bed. When your hands are shaking too much to hold the brush. Dance for me as your limbs tremble too violently to stand. Write when your vision is filled with tears and your hands are covered in blood too thick to reach the paper. I will not be satisfied until I have seen your soul scream ugly onto the porcelain canvas of your skin. Until your poetic speech has lost all hope of rhyme.

For I do not want to look at you and find perfection. I want to look at you and find art, art that sears your every emotion onto my being. Only then can I find you beautiful.

I have seen perfection, the struggle for it, the work that comes from it. That is not beautiful to me, it does not satisfy the expectations I hold of art. To achieve perfection you have to kill the part of yourself that makes you human, the part that makes you beautiful to me. Maybe in today’s world of dying masterpieces that is what you need to get by, but it is not what I wish to see.

I believe some of the greatest art has been born out of insanity, out of ugliness, out of such raw humanity you have to find it beautiful. Van Gogh did not paint that night sky because he saw perfection. He did not look up at those burning lights and aim to copy them onto a page. He painted it because his eyes were so riddled with pain, his mind so clouded by insanity, all his hands could do was paint his soul into those stars.

So paint me your insanity, your blood and your tears. I want to fall in love with your chaos and never think for a single second that you are perfect.

I Dream of Teacher

“Get on your knees.” My voice is thick with desire. This close I can see his eyes dilate with lust; he shakily follows my command. His glance flickers to my strapped-on cock. Mouth watering with anticipation, he waits for my command to take it into his mouth. As I nod my permission his lips circle my cock. With a hand in his hair and a thrust of my hips I am all the way down his throat. I feel the pressure from the cock against my cunt and moan with…

“Endza!… Endza!”

My delectable daydream shatters as I look guiltily up at the voice.   It belongs to the very professor I was imagining moments before. His expression is impatient, not at all like the expression that is still playing on the back of my eyelids. I shift in my seat, suddenly very aware of the wetness between my legs. I feel a blush rise to my cheeks as I ask him to repeat the question.

Thus is life with a teacher fetish.

Whether it is imagining my philosophy professor on the end of my silicone cock, or my muscular history professor slamming me down on the desk and fucking me, all the while telling me what a good little whore I am, it is a real challenge to pay attention in class.

The most distracting is my psychology professor; she delights the class daily with her tight skirts and lovely ass. I spend most of the two-hour long class imagining what she is wearing underneath. My money is on nothing.

My intense fantasy doesn’t end with the act itself. I think the hottest part would be having to sit in class the next day, knowing the teacher’s cock was in your mouth the night before. I would get so wet keeping my naughty secret. I would get wetter every time the teacher blushed when I answered a question.

Oh dear, my nipples are getting hard just thinking about it.

The fact that I have never been able to act on this desire of mine makes the lust get stronger with every new quarter. I do hope someone helps me out soon – I just might explode from frustratio