Apricot Menace

A while ago, one of the white walls of my ballet studio was painted a distressing shade of apricot. Not that I have anything against bright colours in general or apricot in particular, but I do firmly believe that colour in interior decoration should be used for aesthetic effect. This is not the case with the apricot wall.

The studio in question is situated in the basement of the local branch of a nation-wide network of schools for adult education, which offer courses on everything, from languages, IT and marketing to crocheting, massage and ballet. The upside to this is the solid and reliable organisation and infrastructure they provide. The downside is, they’re not exactly dance-centered.

My classroom is a long, narrow and windowless room, with mirrors and a barre along one long wall. The two short sides of the room have doors, one to the corridor and one to a closet. The other long wall is the abode of the atrocious apricot. Painting one of the long walls of a narrow room an intensive colour will make it seem even narrower. When the opposite wall is covered in mirrors… Let’s just say you get twice the look for your money. They could’ve painted one of the short walls for the opposite effect. They could even have used the same horrendous colour for all I care. And maybe it wouldn’t look all that bad with some sunlight falling on it. We’ll never know.

An interesting phenomenon: in the throes of interior design, the school seems to have found the colour that goes with the fewest possible number of other colours. Absolutely none of the many tops I wear to class look good next to the wall, not even the supposedly neutral grey. Neither do M.’s royal blue and burgundy leotards. And if you’re a purist, no, pink tights wouldn’t work either. The colour even manages to clash with the studio’s hardwood floors.

List of colours that don’t go well with apricot: all of these (and most of the others).

The apricot menace has no friends among the students or the teachers. In fact, an apricot resistance front is slowly crystallising out from among the studio’s patrons. The administration, however, seems to think it’s the bee’s knees. They have elected to place a long-requested second barre along one of the short walls. Stuffed between the door and the corner, the new barre provides space for all of two people. As M. told us yesterday, we have the apricot wall to thank for this. Apparently the person or persons in charge thought that marring the unbroken expanse of abominable apricot with a barre would be sacrilege.

I wouldn’t be that bothered: if there were gods of interior design, said person or persons would’ve been struck by apricot-coloured lightning the second they uttered «This shade will do nicely.»

6 thoughts on “Apricot Menace

  1. I just bought a burgundy red leotard. And my favourite is emerald green. I picture myself in one of those, standing next to the orange wall. Oh, my eyes! (Thinking back, all dance studios I ever saw had white walls.)

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  2. To be honest you’re probably lucky they painted it. Out of three places I dance, all three could do with paint, any paint. (The Place is reasonably presentable except for the gents’ changing room, my local is desperately in need of maintenance, but Central School reminds me of school in the 1980s – everything that can be painted/filled/fixed/replaced needs it, right down to the front door. I suspect I will come to love this through the magical way training leads to unit-cohesion and the creation of a group identity, but I also want to offer the teacher a pot of Dulux.)

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  3. Wow! Well, it wasn’t that bad, fortunately – it is a fairly new building and the large organisation behind it has moneybags as far as the eye can see. It’s a nation-wide adult education institution which belongs to and is supported by one of the largest supermarket chains, that also happens to fund a lot of cultural events. They have cult status here in Switzerland. Their own bank, too… But even if money was really a big issue, why not paint it white again? White paint is much cheaper. And the apricot is just as grubby by now from people leaning and throwing their bags against it.
    My jazz studio is more like you describe, though! Not exactly falling apart at the seams, but a coat of paint definitely wouldn’t hurt. But it’s small and privately owned, so the repairs are mostly done by the teacher and her husband. 🙂


  4. Oh, dear! I was thinking, “Gosh, they must have made that classic interior design mistake in which one thinks, ‘This color will be great!’ and then paints the whole wall in it instead of trying a smaller area first,” but, no.

    If that was the case, they probably wouldn’t be so concerned about covering it up with barres (and possibly wardrobes or curtains or, you know, some other color of paint).

    Wow o_O’

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  5. Haha yeah… A couple of months later they also painted the walls of the equally windowless corridor in an even more atrocious lime green that is so intense people end up looking like alien cucumbers, so I’m 90 percent sure the person picking the colours doesn’t have the faintest idea how to even spell “interior design”.

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