I have a vivid memory of being about 4 and stomping about in my Doc Marten boots and tutu trying to emulate a ballerina.
Spurred on after reading about it's wonderful toning benefits in Vogue, I upped my weekly dose of fitness classes to give it a whirl (or twirl, get it?)
Donning my ballet shoes (bought so I could feel like Amy Winehouse and for no other ballet-related reason) I was excited to finally get to glide around with effortless ease.
By now, I think we all know where this is going. Half an hour in, and I'm grimacing at the instructor who is repeatedly telling me to 'tuck my bum in' as we undergo a series of gruelling exercises at the barre. I know that my bum sticks out and it's something I'm rather proud of, so trying to 'tuck it in' is an alien concept to me. The small routines of movements took more concentration than I could have imagined and I'd already failed miserably at the warm-up. My pliés looked more like squats and my back arched so much during the exercises on the floor the the instructor came and physically pushed it down.
I thought I had been really clever by sneaking to the back of the barre, without realising that to work on the opposite leg we would turn around and I would suddenly be bundled to the front. This meant that nothing went amiss by the very hands-on instructor and I frequently found myself being man-handled into the right stance.
I long to prance like the women who have been attending for years but don't have the patience or coordination to be so precise when exercising. I am much more a fan of the 'exercise until you can't go anymore and don't care whether you look like a sack of spuds' approach. I can't deny it's ability to tone, the instructors backside was as firm as marble and her calves jutted out prominently.
For now, I think I'll stick to my combination of high-intensity and yoga, or perhaps I'll return to Barre in my Doc Martens, they certainly can't make me look any less graceful.