Arabesque. It looks different on every dancer’s body. It looks different in a dancer’s different seasons of life. There is no perfect arabesque. There’s only beauty, power, strength, flexibility, grace, poise and awe. It’s the interpretation of the move, flexing to that dancer’s ability in that very moment. This position of the body can be taught to the youngest of students, and still practiced into the last days of one’s life. That arabesque will change, it will evolve, and it will adjust to other strengths or weaknesses in the body. One of the most beautiful positions in ballet, so simple, and yet so complex.
What better way to evoke the emotion and qualities we chase everyday as women than arabesque. This word has been on my heart for the better part of 5 years, and every time I dream up a new vision for how I want to impact women’s lives, this word reappears. I love that it brings me back to my dancer roots, and I love the incredible dichotomy that exists between the amount of strength, power, and flexibility this requires, that when done well, looks beautifully effortless. Notice, it doesn’t feel effortless, just like the many roles we manage don’t feel effortless. But when everything is working together, and we have prepared well, and nothing knocks us off our game, it feels effortless for just that one short moment. And it’s beautiful.
Those moments of arabesque are what I chase as a woman, as a working mom. Notice the word chase. It’s an intentional act. And it should have an element of fun to it. Like a elementary school game of chase in the school yard. When someone changes direction quickly, we don’t lie down and give up, we adjust and continue to chase them. It’s part of the fun, it evokes the laughter. The banter of life exists in those moments of chasing.
If you know me, you know I struggle with the word balance. It evokes too many thoughts of precision and perfection. You know I don’t like the word juggle either when it comes to my life and priorities. That evokes this image of being one wrong move away from total disaster. But arabesque? Did you notice it’s done on one leg? This speaks to me in so many ways that my 16 year old dancer self could never even begin to wrap my head around. Chasing arabesque. That’s my life. Striving for grace and beauty, pushing through the painful and the hard, and working continuously to make just one small improvement here and there. Getting my leg one inch higher. Arching my back just a little more. Working on the turnout of my foot one more degree. The perfect arch of my foot. There are so many things working that one never considers casually watching a beautifully executed arabesque. How much is our life just like that?
Over the past 8 years I’ve struggled with how to create community in a world of moms who can feel so isolated, so alone, and so short on time. This vision of chasing arabesque has been on my heart for 8 long years, but I never knew where to start, or how to start. But I finally feel like I can hear the whisper - Ali - you had to have more experiences to share. You had to live through more hard things. You had to be able to come from a place of more understanding, more compassion, and less desperation than 8 years ago. So here I am - showing up for you, and showing up for myself. I will share more of my story, more of my struggles, more of my encouragement, more of my hope, and more of my fun in this season of chasing arabesque! I hope you’ll come along with me to find encouragement and community as you too chase strength, power, grace, poise, flexibility, awe and beauty in this perfectly imperfect season of life.