The Thud Thud Of The Drum This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

April 19, 2010
The thud thud of the drum, the steady beat of the clappers making the sound of running horses. Then the shakers, the soft lyre. All combined.



The voice breaks in. It quickens. Fierce feelings burst through.

I’m spinning now. My bare feet hit the cement, more and more quickly. My arms, they move as well. Above my head they twist. My heart beats with the drums. It is in tune with the rest of the commotion around me. My hips sway and my feet hit the ground in a quick pattern. The music is a part of me. It makes up what I am. Without the music, I wouldn’t be who I am. I twist. I’m flying. The air is hot about my face. I’m breathing hard now. I’m full of life. There’s life all around me. And they’re around me as well, the people. They watch. They always watch.

It’s dark now. I still dance. Power surges through my whole body. I dance through life, slowly sometimes, and then faster, until all I can feel is the air under my feet and arms and the music twisting and turning with the rest of my body. I’m more graceful than the swan, more beautiful than the peacock. When I move, little bells around my ankles tinkle their praise of my movements. I have more passion and power than the strongest storm. But only when I dance do I have these qualities. I sweep across the ground through the air. I’m dancing in all that open space. I take it all up. It’s mine when I let the music take me into its hand. I play with it, and make it understand my thoughts. We are one.

They clap. They always clap. Then I hear the sound of metal against pavement as coins fall at my feet, but I do not notice. I ignore them. I don’t dance for this. I dance to forget. To forget reality the way it really is. I forget my hunger when I dance. I tend to forget everything that is not beautiful. All I know when I am near music and am dancing is that I’m still alive. I have life when I dance. When the rhythm of the drums speeds through me and finds my heart, they beat together. It reminds me that my heart still beats; that I’m not dead; that I am still alive.

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This article has 13 comments. Post your own now!

lildutchgurl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 8, 2010 at 7:32 pm
LOVE THIS! amazing work and i wish you kept writing it :)
citydancer94 replied...
Jun. 11, 2010 at 4:27 pm
thanks! i was actually planning on continuing it... but i decided on writing several cpmpanions to it... you should read those!
rosegrink said...
May 13, 2010 at 10:34 am
This is just as moving as the first time I read it. I could hear the music in my head when I read it. What song was that again?
citydancer94 replied...
Jan. 21, 2012 at 2:56 pm
it was a song from the SlumDog Millionaire soundtrack. i don't remember which song... but it was really intense
Chilangringo said...
May 13, 2010 at 1:36 am

my favorite part was when you wrote, "when the rhythm of the drums speeds through me and finds my heart, they beat together. It reminds me that my heart still beats;....that I'm still alive".

Music really shapes us to who we are

SheilaZyra said...
May 5, 2010 at 7:39 pm
Wow! Excellent writing!! :)
Godschild said...
May 5, 2010 at 10:13 am
I miss working at the food pantry with you and hearing your stories. :) This is beautiful!
plantercat said...
May 3, 2010 at 8:52 pm
I felt the earth move under my feet....I tossed a coin into the soul of your being. Rain washed the sweat of passion off your face an onto the pavement of Life.  Shalom.
citydancer94 replied...
May 3, 2010 at 8:56 pm
wow.... are you stalking me? jkjk. thanks, Dad. but i do think that you might be trying to outdo me. ;P
KitKat said...
May 3, 2010 at 1:31 pm
Wow! when i read this, i felt like i was there! great descriptions, and keep on writing!
onabona124 said...
May 3, 2010 at 10:25 am
omg, I totally felt like I was there. Very well written. It gives one the feeling of hope. Love the last part, "they beat together." Great job!
iamyourjoy said...
May 3, 2010 at 9:59 am
"When I move, little bells around my ankles tinkle their praise of my movements." VERY good description and imagery usage :) I LOVE IT!!!
yellowrose said...
May 3, 2010 at 9:28 am
The word imagery in this piece creates an incredible amount of beauty -drawing me into the thought life of this individual, and drawing me into the passion of the dance. Very well written! :)
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