Tendu Et Plie

Much of the work that students do at Emerson College is a form of storytelling. If you were to write the story of your life until now, what would you title it and why? Please be brief (100-200 words).


One begins every ballet class with a simple tendu and plie combination and, as such, I have done a truly incalculable number of tendus and plies in my life. Thus, the story of my life so far would be entitled Tendu et Plie: To Stretch and To Bend. These maneuvers are the fundamental building blocks of every other step in ballet, the most basic and yet the most complex of steps, the first you learn and yet never quite mastered. It is easy to fall into complacency in the first few combinations, simply relying on muscle memory, bored by the endless repetitions, but doing so would be to do yourself a disservice, for a strong foundation is a prerequisite for being able to truly dance. Much of my life so far has been like a tendu combination: familiar, routine, occasionally monotonous and repetitive. However, I have never allowed myself to be complacent for it has all been in preparation, a twelve year long warm up combination, forcing me to learn to stretch and bend in life as in dance, building strength, fortitude, and a strong foundation, teaching me how to find joy and fulfillment in the necessary work of every day.

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