THROWBACK THURSDAY: Joe Bloggs goes to the ballet

Shield staff member from the ’90s shares how they learned to love the Austin Ballet and why you should too

Bloggs+never+expected+something+as+graceful+as+the+ballet+to+hold+his+interest.+Photo+original+posted+to+Unsplash.+Reposted+here+under+an+Unsplash+license.

Bloggs never expected something as graceful as the ballet to hold his interest. Photo original posted to Unsplash. Reposted here under an Unsplash license.

Joe Bloggs, Shield staff

From reading the headline, I know what you’re thinking: “Great…here goes Joe on another rampage making fun of everything that doesn’t appeal to him.” Perish the thought! I write this not to insult the light-toed of our society. Please, read the following and then complain about me.

Over my joy-filled winter break, I branched out into many new activities I normally would pass on. This includes the ballet. Before the break began, I was cordially invited to attend the Dec. 19 performance of “The Nutcracker.”

Upon receiving the invitation, one thought entered my mind: I could not help but reflect upon the classic “Saved by the Bell” episode when Jessie Spano and A.C. Slater disagreed on the activity of a date.

As you should remember, Slater got them L.A. Raider tickets while Jessie had already purchased ballet tickets. They got into an argument and Slater apologized for his insensitivity while wearing a skintight outfit that revealed dimples I never knew he had.

After softly chuckling to myself about that episode, I said to myself: “If Albert Clifford Slater can go to the ballet, so can I.”

Austin Ballet performed Peter Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” in the Bass Concert Hall. I put on a nice outfit for once in 1997 and, even better, had cologne on. I was all spiffed up and ready to go.

After a nice dinner, my escort and I went to the show. I was still very skeptical about watching a bunch of people wearing too much makeup and clothes so tight an imagination isn’t necessary dance around for two hours. But I figured Bass was safer than Sixth Street, so I decided to watch them. Nervous, but excited, I entered the building.

If Albert Clifford Slater can go to the ballet, so can I.”

After receiving a playbill, I was off to the elevators to ride up to my second balcony seats. In the elevator, I received a reality check. I thought 20-year-old women only married 70-year-old tycoons in L.A. Apparently, these couples have invaded Austin and they like ballet.

Money may not be able to buy love, but it can ensure a fun night if you’ve got enough.

When exiting the elevator, a woman confronted me with a flashlight. I thought she was going to give me a full body cavity search the way she approached me. Instead, she kindly directed me to my seat.

The seats were nice. They were on the edge of the balcony and for some odd reason I can’t explain, it’s just neater being closer to the edge. Maybe I just wanted to consider watching the ballet a daredevil stunt.

They were on the edge of the balcony and for some odd reason I can’t explain, it’s just neater being closer to the edge. Maybe I just wanted to consider watching the ballet a daredevil stunt.”

When the show started, I went under a spell. Many things intrigued me. The dancers were very impressive, and some of them were about 10 years old. The music was nice as well.

The performance continued for about two hours. During this time, there were many different dances from a variety of cultures. I was impressed by the skill level of the dancers, and also by the fact that I knew what was going on even though the dancers do not talk.

I’m a hardheaded man, and if you can communicate with me without talking, then you have a special ability. To put it another way, “Charades” isn’t exactly my game.

When the show ended, I applauded wholeheartedly as I had thoroughly enjoyed something I was skeptical about to begin with. I really ended up having a great time. I learned to open my eyes to the world around me.

It was a memorable experience, and, guys, take a lady with you sometime. You’ll get real good brownie points. 🙂

This story was originally published in The Shield on Jan. 23, 1998.