So what makes a middle-aged woman return to the ballet studio years after the curtain has come down? It isn’t simply for the exercise–there are plenty of gyms and classes that will do that for you–so it must be something else that inspires all of us ex-dancers to don leotards and tights and bend resistant muscles and joints into positions that test the limits of physical endurance.

It’s called art. And we love it–love it as much or more as when our bodies and brains were far more flexible and responsive.