Cool Ballet Class Lesson images

A few nice ballet class lesson images I found:

Margot’s funeral
ballet class lesson
Image by jimforest
Nancy Forest’s talk about Margot:

Each one of us has his or her own memory of Margot. They’re all so
personal, and we’d be here all week if we were to begin to share them
all. Margot had a unique way of making her relationship with each
person very special, and what we treasure about her is not only what she
meant to us as a group, but also what she meant to each one of us
personally — our particular friendships with her.

So I’m not going to talk about my relationship with Margot. I’m
just going to talk a bit about her life — what I learned about her amazing
history. We had a lot in common, which only really means that I know a
little bit about the place she grew up and what she went through in her

Margaret Elizabeth Zwatschka was born on May 26, 1914, in
Somerville, New Jersey. Her parents were Polish immigrants. They
worked in Somerville as shopkeepers. She had two brothers and no
sisters. At that time, the early 20th century, New Jersey was a real
melting pot. It was the very end of the great flood of European
immigrants that had been coming to America since the late 19th century.
They sailed into New York harbor, many of them very poor. They
landed on Ellis Island, within sight of the Statue of Liberty, and from
there they were on their own. Most of the immigrants had the addresses
of other people from their home countries, and they would seek those
people out for help in finding a place to live and a job. Whole towns
grew up in New York State and New Jersey, and in many other parts of
the country, that consisted of people from one particular European
country. They had their own churches, shops that sold the food they were
used to eating, and the older ones spoke their own language. But the
younger people wanted to assimilate quickly — to become Americans and
to learn English — so the children of most immigrants never learned the
language of their parents. Margot didn’t speak Polish. But she was raised
in a Polish Catholic milieu.

One thing that the children of immigrants had in common was
that they were influenced by their parents’ ambition and courage. It took
enormous courage to leave Europe back then and to immigrate to
America, knowing you’d probably never ever be able to return, not even
to visit. I think we could see that ambition and courage, and a real sense
of adventure, in the way Margot lived her life. Another thing the
children of immigrants often had in common was their parents’ Old
World ways. These immigrants brought with them a kind of
19th-century Old World grace and elegance that crystallized when they
got to America. They never became 20th-century Europeans, but they
didn’t become 20th-century Americans, either. I think we could
recognize that in Margot, too. It was in her blood, in the way she was

She was very bright, but she didn’t go to college. Many girls
didn’t back then. College was expensive for middle-class immigrant
families, and if you sent anybody to college it was the sons. But Margot
had a great love of books and a love of culture. Somerville, New Jersey,
is quite close to New York City, and she went to New York — she may
have lived there for a while when she was older — visiting museums,
going to the ballet and to the theatre, going to bookstores. She especially
loved the ballet, and she took lessons for many years. She never lost her
love of ballet, and you could see the training she had in the graceful way
she walked — her straight back and the relaxed, flowing way she moved
her body. But she didn’t become a professional dancer. Why not? She
told me once that she didn’t have ‘the right kind of body’. Maybe she
was too small. At any rate, she new she had to support herself somehow,
so she went to nursing school and became a nurse.

When she was in her twenties, in the late 1930s, she and one of
her girlfriends decided to do something adventurous. They decided to
take a Caribbean cruise. This was pretty adventurous at the time, but it
wasn’t out of the question for young women from New Jersey. Europe
would have been out of the question, but a Caribbean cruise was
affordable. Maybe they went to Bermuda. At any rate, on the boat
Margot met a young Russian seaman who was one of the crew. His
name was Pierre Muntz. Pierre was from Odessa, but he was living in
the Netherlands, in Amsterdam, and I believe he had become a Dutch
national. Margot and Pierre fell in love. When the cruise was over,
Margot went back to New York and Pierre to Amsterdam, and they
promised to write to each other. Then the war broke out. It was
impossible for Margot to go to Holland and impossible for Pierre to visit
America, but they kept writing letters — for seven long years. In 1946, after
the war was over, Margot decided to do something that was just as
adventurous as what her parents had done. She left the US and came to
Amsterdam to marry Pierre. She had only been with him once, on that
first cruise, and she hadn’t seen him in 5 years. This was not a romantic
Europe she was going to. It was post-war Europe, Europe in tatters,
Europe still on rations, with the trauma of the war still fresh. What a risk
she was taking!

But she came, and they were married. They moved into the little
apartment so many of remember so fondly, on the Nicolaas Maesstraat.

Pierre worked as a seaman for the merchant marine, and he was
gone nine months out of every year. So Margot was on her own much of
the time, and she had to make a life for herself. As far as I can tell she
and Pierre had a wonderful marriage. They were always deeply in love.
Even at the end of her life she would say, ‘I didn’t deserve him!’ But she
was used to living in an intensely cultural city, and she made her way. It
was through Pierre that Margot first met Matushka Tatiana and Father
Alexis — way before the St. Nicolaas Church had been started. She once
told me about meeting Tatiana for the first time. Tatiana and Pierre were
both from Odessa, and Tatiana thought Pierre was a pretty wonderful
guy — tall, handsome, intellectual. So when he introduced Margot for the
first time Tatiana couldn’t believe it. "This tiny little American girl?" At
least that was Margot’s memory of the occasion, and she laughed when
she told me.

Margot continued visiting museums and the theatre here in
Amsterdam. At some point she decided to try her hand at translation
work. There must have been a huge need for good native-speaking
translators in the city at the time. With her interest in art and literature,
she had no trouble finding work. She became one of the leading English
translators for the Stedelijk Museum, and only stopped doing translation
work for them when she was in her 80s. She never learned to use a
computer, but they were quite willing to take her typewritten translations
and have them converted to computer disks.

Pierre was a heavy smoker. It’s hard for me to imagine Margot
living in that tidy little apartment on the Nicolaas Maesstraat with a guy
smoking like a chimney, but she did. At a certain point Pierre became ill
and was diagnosed as having emphysema (emfyseem). He had to stop
work, and Margot, with her nurse’s training, cared for him at home. One
of her strongest memories from that time, I believe, was reading to
Pierre from her beloved books as he got worse and worse.

Pierre died in 1964. They had been married 18 years, and Margot
was 50. Sadly, they had been able to have no children. But after a while
she was able to pull her life back together and keep on going. She started
traveling — to Greece (she learned modern Greek), to Finland and to
many other countries — making friends wherever she went. She kept
writing to them, they would come visit her whenever they were in
Amsterdam. Some of them are probably with us today. She kept her
mind alert by reading. She loved books and had a small but very fine
library. Poetry, novels, travel books — she spent a lot of time and money
at the Martyrium on the Roelof Hartplein. Many of us have stories about
Margot’s love of theatre — going to the ballet with her, to the opera, to
museum exhibitions. She was often filled with enthusiasm. It was
hard to keep her on the ground. But she also had a sharply-honed critical
faculty, and if she didn’t like something she’d say so.

But what interested Margot the most, I think — more than books,
more than museums and the ballet, more than art and the theatre — were
people. She was simply fascinated by people. She loved nothing more
than to sit down and talk to someone. She had an interesting way of
carrying on a conversation. It was almost as if she had organized the
questions in her mind. She would tick off the questions she wanted to
ask one by one — how is your work, how are the children, how are your
parents? At a certain point the conversation would develop a life of its
own, but she had a wonderful way of getting it started.

And she never complained — not until the very end. She was a
person full of joy. I remember her saying to me, ‘I can’t help it. I’m just
joyful. That’s the way the Good Lord made me.’ Once we were talking
about a person who had had a particularly hard life, and she said to me,
‘How blessed we are. We have had such good lives and we have nothing
to complain about.’ And I thought, ‘Margot! You lost your dear husband
after only 18 years of marriage. You weren’t able to have children. And
you have nothing to complain about?’ But she never did. She saw herself
as enormously blessed.

Let me say one personal thing. For me, Margot is an example of
a real Christian woman. She was not what I would call an effusively
religious woman. That is, she didn’t act like she was a member of an
exclusive club, the Christian Club. She just acted like a Christian. And
there’s a big difference. She was the very picture of hospitality. We first
met Margot back in 1988 at a special church event at the old
Parochiehuis on the Kloveniersburgwal, and if it hadn’t been for her
warm welcome I really wonder if we would have been so eager to start
coming to the St. Nicholas church. But we did. In her life, she was what
we are all called to be — people who are really on the lookout for
strangers, ready to welcome them, to ask them where they come from, to
let them know that we’re glad they’re with us. How many of us can
remember being new in the church, and having Margot come up to them
with her bright smile? How many of us have stories of talking to
Margot, of her showing real care for us. She was exceptionally good at
that, and most of us are not. We have so much to learn. But thank God
for her example. And thank God for blessing us with her life and her
goodness — and her joy.

* * *
Jim & Nancy Forest
Kanisstraat 5 / 1811 GJ Alkmaar / The Netherlands
Jim’s e-mail: (alternative address:
Nancy’s e-mail: (alternative address:
Orthodox Peace Fellowship web site:
Jim & Nancy Forest web site:
* * *

Home Sunday morning-09
ballet class lesson
Image by Julie70
The photography of the ballerina’s legs is by me, she is a statue (not only legs) near the Royal Opera House, in Covent Garden. Once upon a time, when I was 11, I wanted to become dancer and even took some ballet lessons at my towns opera house. But then, I found out, my class mate jumped a lot higher, easier then me. She did indeed become a prime ballerina, very early in her life. I begun to write, drama.

And continued my diary. From 10 to 77, to "document my transformation."

Darmstadt Dancers
ballet class lesson
Image by heraldpost
Darmstadt’s SKIES Dance students performed for the last time during their
Grand Finale Recital May 3, at the former Middle School Gym. Under
the instruction of Jenny McCoy, Darmstadt’s ballet students (ranging
from 3 years to 18 years of age), Jr. Jazzercise students, Team Dance I &
II, and Boys’ Athletic Dance have been taking lessons through the Child and
Youth Services SKIES program in Darmstadt since at least January. Many of the students take more than one class from McCoy a week. After the final
bows, McCoy exclaimed to the full-house of parents and community supporters, "This doesn’t look like a closing community to me!" (Photo by Amy Buenning Sturm, USAG Darmstadt)

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