Please check out all the photos of this outfit here!
As soon as I got in front of the camera in this outfit, I started to move like a prima ballerina wannabe. I find that interesting, since the outfit itself obviously has nothing whatsoever to do with ballet dancing – and still, somehow, it does. There’s something about the hair tied back in a bun, the bare shoulders, the wide skirt and the high heels that makes my mind immediately associate to a ballerina.
As a kid, every activity I tried out, I just had to be a natural at. I needed people to tell me, “oh wow, Annika, you’re so great at this, I can’t believe you’ve never done it before!”. Otherwise, I felt like a complete failure and told my parents, “I hate this, it’s boring and I’m never going to do it again”. The more talent I had, the longer I would stick around – I did gymnastics for a while, as well as high jumping, played the piano and sang in a choir – until other people started becoming a lot better than me, and so I quit those activities, too. I guess the only thing I was always really good at was writing, and well, that’s probably why I ended up writing for a living.
Anyway – dancing was not one of the things I had a talent for. Quite the opposite. Like so many other kids, I wanted to be a ballet dancer, and my mom took me to a dance studio to let me try it. I have no idea how old I was – six?- but what I do remember is that we didn’t get to try any of those cool moves I’d seen on tv. Instead, we were walking around in a circle, while the teacher repeated the sentence “pick the apples… and put them in the basket”. And we were, as you can imagine, pretending to pick apples from a tree and put them in an invisible basket on the floor.
Coordination has never really been my forte, and it wouldn’t surprise me if I tripped on my own feet at least three times while picking the imaginary apples. When I asked the instructor when we’d get to dance Swan Lake, she laughed and told me we had a lot more pretend apple picking to do before we’d get to that. Needless to say, that was not the answer I was hoping for, and my dream of becoming a prima ballerina died there and then.
During the last twenty years of my life, the only dancing I’ve been doing has been on the crowded dancefloors of various clubs, and alone at home, with the music turned up extremely loud and noone watching or judging. That suits me a lot better than years of imaginary apple picking. But that doesn’t mean I can’t put on a pretty dress and pretend to be on my way to rehearsal for my latest lead role at the Royal Opera House in London!
(Photos by me.)