Cut shapes, not mustard.

When I was 6 or 7, I did jazz ballet with my friends at school every week for a couple of years and I loved it - mostly for the social aspect. I think I knew that I was probably the weakest link in the class, but it didn't bother me because I had so much fun with my friends. We got to practice together at each others' houses on the weekend, make up our own dances and choreography 👯 in the backyard and on the trampoline (yes it got increasingly more fun and increasingly more dangerous) and I knew even from a young age that it was OK to not be the best at something and still be able to enjoy it (a mindset I am now trying to re-learn as an adult 😒).

likely to be abby

My teacher, who was probably just a good teacher with good intentions and high expectations told my mother at the end of a term that I wouldn't make it into the next grade. When prompted why by my parents, the answer was that I "didn't cut the mustard." I remember being really disappointed that my friends would be continuing on to the next grade and that I'd be doing the classes on my own. I decided to not continue with dance if I couldn't do it with my friends, so I stopped.

You know how people see someone with long fingers and they say "OOH you'd be a good piano player you know!" 🎹  Same thing for people like me with long necks. "OOH you'd be a beautiful ballet dancer, do you dance?" (These people are crazy, I have long fingers and a long neck and I am not good at either things). However, although the answer was no, I am both naive and delusional, 💥  so fast-forward a couple of decades later and I was googling adult ballet classes in Wellington. I've always loved ballet (or the idea of it, perhaps) and can often be found attempting a pirouette or a gallop run leap thing (you know the one I'm talking about aye?).  I booked myself in for a class. I was very nervous. 

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I'm definitely more coordinated than I give myself credit for (let's be honest - we all think we're WAY worse than we are) but this class was a whole 'nother level of embarrassment. I knew that I'd never be a ballerina as I'd missed the boat, trying to start again midway through my twenties. However, a beginners ballet class for adults that starts with being told "You won't be a ballerina" isn't the class for me. That's LITERALLY the ONE reason I was there. To do ballet. To be a ballerina. For that small moment in my day to just feel something bigger or better than myself. To dream and imagine and spin and let go.✨

I felt so embarrassed. All I could see was everything that was wrong with my form, I had to focus on stupid stuff like holding my thumbs in a weird position and ultimately? It was boring. I wanted to spin and run and leap and point and stretch. So if you come into our class because you want to be a ballerina, we are going to turn around and tell you you're in the absolutely right place - but you'll want to hold out for our Britney class. We promise it'll scratch that itch you've got from when you were 7 and you were told you didn't cut the mustard. ðŸ–•ðŸ½

The good news for you is that we don't care about cutting the mustard. Firstly, we don't understand that saying. It's stupid because no-one can slice a sauce. We care about cutting shapes. Unless the mustard is on a sausage. And we're about to eat it.


See you at our class or on the emails soon!

*high five*


Abby Damen