What if you could fly for just a couple seconds? What if you could experience that airborne feeling every week? What if you knew what it felt like to be weightless?
Well, then, I guess you would be a dancer.
When I was 11, the last thing I ever wanted to be was a ballerina. I mean, come on, pink tights and frilly tutus? Not my style. At. All. But then, my mom signed me up for a ballet class. It changed my life.
At first I was like, ‘yeah, okay, this isn’t as girly as I thought. This is actually kind of hard.’ My teacher, Ms. Rebecca, is a truly remarkable woman and helped me to appreciate the fine art that is dance.
After about three years in ballet, I fell completely in love with it. I loved the work it took, the strength it required, the elegant way it allowed your body to move. It’s all I wanted to do, all the time. My former dreams of becoming an archaeologist/missionary fell into the dust left by the rosin on my ballet flat. I just wanted to dance.
Two and a half years ago, I got my pointe shoes, or toe shoes as some of you may know them. Imagine little plastic bricks strapped to your feet by tight pink ribbon… and then dancing on your toes. Yes, it’s painful, well at least it can be. And yes, it is so worth it. As if ballet wasn’t elegant and graceful enough, being en pointe adds a whole new level.
The best part of dance is seeing it all pay off; dancing on a stage. The lights, the hushed voices of the audience falling into quiet awe as the first dancer takes center stage. The click of pointe shoes against the stage and the heavy breathing through shimmering red lips. Then as the lights fade for the final time, the insistent roar of the appreciative audience. It is overwhelming in the most beautiful ways.
Sometimes I don’t know why I dance. On days when my extension is terrible and my feet are cramping, I forget why I love it so much. Why do I work this hard every day for two hours in the spotlight? Why do I put myself through this?
But then I remember.
Dance gives me wings.
Me at my last performance. I was a dove 🙂