Netflix Review: "Restless Creature. Wendy Whelan." Learning about Loss.


Girls gymnastics is bad.

But Ballet is the worst.

Wendy Whelan was a dancer

At NYC Ballet for thirty years.

In the Chorus, Soloist and Principal.

The works.

I wouldn’t wish that career path on anyone’s daughter.


I lived in the South End of Boston

Where everyone (almost)

was gay

Or a Ballet dancer (or both).

You couldn’t help but date a ballet dancer in Boston.

I asked one girl

how she got to Boston Ballet

And she said

she was known for great balance

And I thought that was the coolest.

(It’s like speed. You can’t teach it.)

This was the mid 90’s

when Wendy Whelan’s

Long Figure was already a decade

on the New York Stage.

This girl was a long one too.

Here’s why Ballet is the worst:

Because you take this group of girls when they are 3

And by the time they are 5

It’s clear who’s the best.

This one is different.

So she practices and competes

for 15 years or so.

And she has roughly always

been the best

In any given group.

She’s trained everyday. Really.

Everyday for 15 years.

And there are 30 of these girls for a call.

At Boston Ballet.

Invite only.

And they line up.

And the director walks down the line.

Quickly.

Saying “Yes,” to a dozen girls.

And the rest go home.

Before they even dance a step.

Wrong body type.

Might just be a hair off.

But you don’t even get to dance.

And that was your shot.

Ballet is the worst

(may as well be a model...

seems like more of a fair shake).

__________________

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