Just Kidding

May 20, 2009
I was about to die! I couldn’t eat, breathe or sleep at all the previous day or night. How was I supposed to get through this?!? I nervously sped down the hall and practically collapsed when I reached the neatly made hotel- room bed.

“KD! I’ve been looking all over for you. We need to leave, now.” Brian paused when he saw my face, “Is something wrong?”

“No, I don’t know. I’ve just felt . . .” I hesitated.

“Felt what?” Brian asked, impatiently.

“I felt, you know, just . . . I don’t know how to explain it. I’ve never really felt this way before. I’m nervous; let’s just go.”

“Ok, good idea, I’ll drive. We can talk about this in the car. Is that ok with you? We just can’t be late.” Brian glanced at his watch and grabbed his keys.

We walked silently but anxiously out the door. It was kind of an awkward situation. Brian crossed over to the other side of the recently waxed, shiny, blue mini cooper convertible. I slid into the passenger seat and savored the smooth current of warm air that made a violent contrast to the biting chill of the outdoors.

I appreciated the silence and tried to calm my tension by taking in the rare view of flamboyant trees synchronizing with the old fashioned Kentucky horse ranches. I was just beginning to grasp the full beauty of the situation when we pulled up to our destination.

I tried to relax and breath deeply. I walked slowly toward the large, white building. It seemed to stare down at me, mockingly.

Brian came alongside me, and he stopped me. “KD, you can do this. I know you can. We’ve been working so hard and I know that you’ll be able to make it.” Brian said, reassuringly.

I shrieked. “OH CRAP!! How can this happen!” I quickly ran back to the car and frantically searched for the things I was missing.

Nothing.

I caught up to him as he was entering the door.“Brian, I can’t do this.” I felt like I was about to cry. How could I bring him through this. It wasn’t his fault that I was so nervous.

Brian continued to pace down the hallway, calmly. I couldn’t believe him! I mean, it wasn’t his fault, but he just completely ignored me. I proceeded on next to him, holding my temper and trying to be patient.

We entered the mirrored room and started the way we normally did. We had an hour until the nerve-racking moment. We went through all the movements as usual, but something felt different. I thought about how much we had practiced and how much I loved to dance. I had no idea why I was so nervous. In the area all state competition everything came natural. I decided that if I didn’t think about it, and just did what I love to do I wouldn’t be nervous. I relaxed.

I suddenly realized it was time to change into our recital clothes. I started to panic. I would completely be breaking the dress code if I danced in the shorts and t-shirt I was presently wearing. I looked down. I was wearing the ballet shoes that I’d used ever since I was ten until now (four years!). I thought of the new pointe shoes my mom had bought recently, specifically for this recital. I felt a sudden rush of guilt for forgetting them at the hotel. And what about my beautiful new blue leotard and flowing skirt. I couldn’t possibly perform at a professional studio dressed like this!

Brian waved his hands in front of my face. “Hello!? Girl! You gotta get ready! We’re performing in fifteen minutes.” Brian was already dressed in his new black recital costume.

“But I forgot. . .”

“What?! How could you forget?!” He held up the blue Adidas bag that I used to carry my dancing things. “Just kidding.”

“Oh my gosh!! Thank you! I was totally freaking out!” I hugged him and rushed into the changing room to get ready. I felt a rush of confidence. I had a small sense of pride and accomplishment at the thought of Brian and me getting all the way to states. It was exciting!

I quickly got dressed and combed my hair back into a tight bun. I admired the new outfit. It was a sharp blue that gave a feeling of having precise, yet graceful motion. I was ready. I walked out and smiled at Brian who was waiting across the hallway by the performance room.

We walked in. It was about double the size as the practice room and had a few chairs lined up near the back with tables in front where the judges set their papers to take notes and give scores. It didn’t have any mirrors or a ballet bar. It had a slightly tall ceiling and smooth neatly waxed wood floors. The walls were a creme color.

The judges were seated in the five chairs by the wall. The were talking to the previous performer. She must’ve been a soloist. She was wearing a bright red leotard with a black skirt. She looked to be about the age of twenty or so. I was glad that I had a partner to dance with because it’s so much fun. Whatever you place you have someone to share the experience and outcome with. The girl was led out of the room by a lady who was probably one of the judges. I recognized one of them. It was Anita Schwardburough, a famous dancer from New York.

“Hello.” The lady sat down. “I’m Ashley. I’m a dance instructor at this college. Do you have any questions or comments you’d like to make before you begin your performance?”

“No, I can’t think of any.” Brian responded, decidedly.

“You may start whenever you’d like. Just tell Anita when she may start the music.” Ashley informed us.

“We’re ready.”Brian said, when he saw me nod from my starting position on the opposite side of the room.

The music filled the air as it began and smoothly went on. We had picked the perfect song, and great dance steps. I had no trace of anxiety, even when I thought that we may possibly place last. I spun swiftly and gracefully into Brian’s arms and we danced like we’ve never danced before. We put every ounce of meaning into it as there was possible. We glided through it, just having fun and doing our best.

Then it ended. I was happy that I had so much fun and relaxed throughout the dance. But I was also sad. It was the kind of melancholy feeling you get when you’ve just finished a really good book. You almost miss the characters and reading it, but you’re happy because it had a great plot and resolution.

The next day the scores were posted at the dance studio we normally attended classes at. We had gotten in last place. I calmly went into the changing room and got ready for practice. I came out and saw Brian standing, practically staring at nothing facing the bulletin board where the scores were posted.

“What?! We got in last place!” I said. I pulled off the paper from the bulletin board and revealed the actual scores. “Just Kidding.”





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback