dance inside

Heart beating,pounding against my chest,erratic and uneven exhales of shallow quick breaths,light-headed,the feeling of butterflies beating their wings ,I could hear nothing over the roar of the crowd,blinded by stage lights,i waited for my signal,that one sentence to be spoken by a stage hand,its time,cue my entrance,centre stage.Right now my anxiety kicks in,i need to focus,need to calm,collect myself.i turn my attention to my costume,a white sequins dress,with matching feathered hair piece,secured to my braided sheer black hair.I sit on the steps leading from the dressing rooms,take out my dusting chalk,i bring my knee to my chest,pull on my lamb’s wool sock,slide my foot through the elastic ankle support,and begin to readjust my soft pink point shoes,shank support pressed to the arch of my feet,i wrap the ribbon over and around,rolling both ends back into the criss cross pattern above my heel.Secured in place,i rise carefully,tap the ends of each shoe to the hardened polished oak floor,and walk carefully to the make shift practice room.No one is here,but me,i take a chair from the corner of the room,and place it in front of the mirror,my hands shaking cold,i breathe into them until they begin to warm,hoping this will help me settle down.

I start standing up completely straight, legs parallel,remembering my placement,the words of my instructor still fresh in my mind,pull up my stomach,bottom down,arch my back, make sure my shoulders are flat, feet turned in right in front of me i push up just to the ball of my foot,lower myself down gently and then push up hard,i slowly repeat and build up momentum,slowly i feel the pressure to stretch the arch of my feet,in my head i can hear the way the music flows,carefully practiced moves,and their sequence play over and over in my mind now.I stand in front of the mirror,slowly building up confidence,i know this,i know how to do this,i remind myself,I’ve done this a million times before,it’s no different then being in here or in class,hands balled into fists at my side,i turn to walk out of the room,ready now,reassured,i know what I’m doing,I’ve got this.

i step into the white chalk box by the stage managers podium,i raise my head up shoulders back,i shake off this nervous feeling and focus on what I’m here for,my passion is dancing,story telling through movement,i love to fly,to soar,i love the rush,the last-minute adrenaline fix which moves me to the very last step in my routine,sometimes to the point of exhaustion,still i adore it,how it makes me feel,nothing in the whole world compares to it.End act four scene two,its my turn now to take the stage.The curtains are pulled shut,stage hands dressed in all black now bring in this scenes set,i see a few familiar faces,as they take there positions,some crouching legs crossed,ready to rise up on command,dressed in brightly coloured costumes of fire and ice,sequins gleaming under the lights,i side glance the mirror to check my stage make up,just as the curtains roll back,i spread my arms out,bring my fingertips to my chest,i reach my hand out and lead myself forward,basking in the light of this transformed world of performance art.My feet now have a mind of their own,i cant think,my mind is blank,my instinct takes hold of me,every carefully disciplined move comes rushing back to me from unknown part of my subconscious.

Everyone around me now is a blur of colour and movement,the final few seconds of the act all that remains,as those around me spin gracefully,i build up for my grand finale,a leap into the arms of a male dancer,he assumes his pensive inert ready stance now centre forward,i leap and bound toward him from back stage left,he lowers himself,right leg behind him,i plant all my weight on my left foot,before sliding forward into his supportive hands,he swings his right leg back around and turns with me slowly,above his head,before lowering me to my feet in front of him,i arch back into his left arm,my knee now on the stage floor,hand brushing through his hair,we both freeze in place,the lights go out,the curtains close,i can hear nothing but the thumping beat of blood pumping to my head,I’m helped back to my feet,i grab his hand,and that of a fellow performer,arms linked in a line stretching the length of the stage,we now walk forward in unison,to the thunderous applause of our audience,everyone has risen to their feet,flowers are thrown from seemingly nowhere,we cannot see the faces,only the shadows of those we face,blinded by flash photography,whistling sounds and chants of encore,we take our final bow,curtains drop for the last time.

Nothing beats a high like this.

I once had a jewellery box as a little girl,a musical one,the haunting twinkling melody i can hear right now as i close my eyes.I can still see that ballerina,spinning,pirouetting so elegantly in front of a small oval mirror,in her pretty pink dress.I have always wanted to be her,to be that girl,for years and now my time in the spotlight had come.

                                                                                                                                 Wingstruck.

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~ by wingstruck on January 23, 2011.

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