Ballerina’s should not surf the crimson wave

My addition to the posts.

As a ballerina for most of my life, I started my monthly visitations much later than most of my friends.  This was both a blessing and a curse.  All of my friends started at the “normal” ages in middle school, I started in high school.  All of my friends had to worry about carrying pads around in their backpacks to a school where boys were still being nosy and curious about what girls carried around.  Their parents were making the embarrassing stops in the grocery store and still talking to them as if they were children.  My mom was just thrilled by the time that I got mine.  She had already stacked up on materials and I did not have to worry about those crazy shopping trips.  Also, my mother was so prepared that she already had an appointment set up with the female doctor that she had.  I was put on birth control pills almost immediately so I knew when that annoying wave would come.  The female doctor also told me that right from the start I could wear a tampon.  This was heaven because I didn’t have to worry about a bulky pad while I danced around in a black leotard and pink tights.  Can you even imagine?  Where would the wings go?

Anyways, can you guess where I was when I started that first time?  Did I get lucky and have it start in the morning before school or at night when I was at home and there was no chance of leakage that would cause personal trauma?  Is anyone that lucky?  No, I was at a ballet rehearsal for The Nutcracker.  It was September and a Saturday.  I still had at least four hours left of ballet that day and what do my fellow dancers see as I make a graceful leap?  A little bit of light red along the outside edge of my rather pink tights.  In normal circumstances when I would have noticed that, I would have rushed to the bathroom, however, in a ballet rehearsal if you run out you are dead meat.  I had to finish the song, enduring the giggles from my friends, and then ask permission to use the restroom from the male choreographer that I was working with.  He scolded me for needing to use the restroom during the rehearsal and not being prepared.  I was humiliated in so many ways and felt like my world was coming to an end.  My salvation was a friend’s dance bag that had tampons in it.  I rushed to the bathroom with a new leotard and tights and a tampon.  I was disgusted by the mess and then had to read the instructions for the tampon.  It’s very difficult to insert a tampon when you are in a hurry, never had your period before, and nervous.  I’m extremely lucky that it was a plastic applicator because as I learned later the cardboard ones hurt.  After getting it in (most of the way because I was afraid of sticking something too far inside that it might get lost), I ran back into rehearsal and finished the rest of the day.

After that first experience, I always carried a box of tampons in my dance bag.  I also continued my practice of having an extra change of clothes available.  When I got older, I carried more clothes in my car so that I wouldn’t be caught in a red spot again.  Ballerina’s should never have to deal with their cycles during rehearsals, but as a woman, at least now I’m prepared.

  1. Argh! Those things just HAVE to happen at the worst possible time, don’t they? I was fairy lucky – I was at home when mine first came – but so many of my friends had horror stories to share.

    And the worrying a tampon would somehow get lost, um, inside? That used to terrify me too :S

    • You know, after you have used a tampon for many years those type of things are just silly, but when you’ve never really had to think about it before and you don’t really understand your anatomy, it’s terrifying. Thank you for your comment. This topic has really been fun to write about.

  2. I had a very similar Flow post. It involves ballet camp and a white leotard and little 12-year-old me.

    And the wings go over the underwear you are forced to wear under your leotard and tights – it was fantastic. 😛

    • Wow, I think I lucked out by not wearing white leotards. I was lucky that I didn’t have to wear a specific color as I went through the levels in ballet classes. We had to wear black leotards from the time we started until I quit. I think as we got older the policy began to loosen and we were allowed to wear colors, but I know of some students that had to go from white, then pink, etc. I also hated wearing undies under my tights. Although, that may be too much information.

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