Tondues and Taco Salad

19 Oct

I love dance. I love to watch it and to do it. Like thousands of other ladies, I took a variety of classes as a youngster, including tap (two years), jazz (six years) and ballet (eight years). I never won awards or got pointe shoes, but I was a dedicated little performer through 7th grade. Then I stopped until my junior year of high school, when I took a year of general dance, and then my sophomore year of college, when I took an amazing semester of ballet.

After college, I regretted not taking another class or two. I love movement. I love how it feels. So, last year, I signed up for an adult ballet class at Tulsa Community College. It was fantastic. I was so sore all the time, but I felt amazing all over. I then tried to take a jazz class and a modern class with that teacher, but not enough people signed up. I was sad to see that the teacher didn’t appear to be with the school any more either. Then I got a text from her a couple of weeks ago announcing her return, and I quickly signed up for ballet. Our first class was last night.

Hold me closer, little Brigid.

I posted these pictures not because of how amazing I look in a leotard or how good my form is (it’s not – I’m flat-footed, pigeon-toed and could never have been much of a ballerina), but to show that dance is not only for skinny-minnie size-twos. I have heard from so many different women that they would love to take ballet (or some other kind of dance), but they are too embarrassed of how they look in dance clothes. It makes me sad. The amazing thing about an adult beginning class is that nobody is a professional. Sure, there are a couple of beanpole college girls, but there are at least two women old enough to be my mother. Some wear yoga pants and T-shirts; some (like me) strap on the full black-and-pink-leotard-and-tights-and-dance-skirt attire. It’s up to you. Ballet is such a fun workout that I hate the idea of someone missing out because leotards seem like the enemy. Plus, it makes you feel pretty no matter what you wear. And the little slippers are cute, too.

After class, I was plenty hungry. Luckily, I came home to a ready-to-eat dinner thanks to my beloved man. On the menu: taco salad!

Romaine lettuce topped with fat-free refried beans (Old El Paso brand, which my taller half generously spiced up), chipotle corn salsa, lots of green onions, and a few tortilla chips. I tried to make mine look pretty for you. It didn’t stay that way for long. For comparison, check out his version:

The same as mine except he added tomatoes, sour cream, and smoked cheddar. And a lot more chips. Yes, that’s a mixing bowl, but a small one, at least. In his defense, he wanted me to add that he had eaten nothing but a large bowl of oats that day, and we didn’t eat dinner until after 8:00.

And just a little bonus image:

Sweet potato cake from Café Samana. Yum. Even more yum? Their sweet potato ginger soup I had yesterday and sadly didn’t photograph. Seriously. Seriously. Perfection. If you have the chance to try it, run, leap, and fly there.

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6 Responses to “Tondues and Taco Salad”

  1. Rose October 19, 2010 at 6:45 pm #

    I love dance too. I haven’t taken too many formal classes, only a few here and there throughout my life…but it is a wonderful workout…even just freestyle dancing, which is what I do most.

    Certainly ballet is much more rigorous than that. Sounds like fun.

    Your taco salad looks great…I’m actually eating something similar for lunch as I read this…it’s not as nicely presented as yours though. It sounds like a perfect evening meal after a workout; satisfying and full of flavor, but not too heavy.

  2. adultbeginner October 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    It’s amazing what a hurdle the tights and leotard are! Whenever I try to bully friends into coming to ballet with me, the costume is the first reason they say no.

  3. Holly October 21, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    I don’t know what you’re talking about, because you ARE a skinny Minnie in that leotard. You’ve done seriously awesome things for your body lately. The taco salad looks soooo tasty, no matter how you mix it.

  4. Natasha October 23, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    That Cafe Samana is a naughty, naughty place. I love it. =)

  5. K_Whitbread October 19, 2012 at 7:18 pm #

    First, you look amazing in your tights and leo! I am way older than you (54) and have a similar dance history–danced as a child, didn’t go en pointe (the teacher told my mother my technique was awful and it would be a terrible waste of money to continue to pay for lessons. Thanks so much, Miss Pat, for that boost to my self-esteem…). I did continue, off and on through high school and college. Then, took a few decades off and now I am back in a beginner’s class. In my pink tights and black leotard, because that is what dancer’s wear and I want to feel like a dancer! Love your recipes……you make me want to consider (but not commit to, just yet…..) going vegetarian.

    • Brigid October 22, 2012 at 11:38 am #

      Good for you! I read something before about how unfortunate it is that we consider dance and art and sports as things for children to do, not adults — unless you’re professional. It’s ridiculous! We should all continue to do the things we love. Eighteen isn’t the cut-off point for creativity.

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