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Bring It On

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Blackness, as far as my eyes can see. Wiping a bead of sweat off my forehead, I look for the white line of masking tape marking the boundary between backstage and the long, open platform where I will be moments later. As bright spotlights reappear, I cringe and shield my eyes. Loud, upbeat music begins, signaling to me that I am just seconds away from performing. Breathe Bella, breathe, I think as my stomach drops with anticipation. My costume now feels heavy and itchy, my make-up irritating and uncomfortable. I turn to my partner, Courtney. With the same dark, brown hair pulled into the same slick, flawless ponytail, she could be my twin. Her tan skin is also caked with make-up, just like me, and she tries to give me an encouraging smile.


“Don’t worry about it,” she says. “We’ve got this.” Though she is trying to reassure me, I can hear a slight tremble in her voice.


“Sure, sure.” I say, trying to sound nonchalant even though I can feel my breathing speed up little by little. The black curtains open, revealing a passage onto the stage. I am now faced with a horrible realization: I am about to dance in front of hundreds of people.


“Okay,” I say to Courtney. “Let’s do this!” I put on an enthusiastic face and skip onstage. There are many more colorful lights shining into my eyes now, and they change the faces of the crowd below me into little grey spots. My fellow dancers have joined me onstage, wearing identical costumes. We all begin to dance. Tombé glissade grande jeté changement. My dance instructor’s voice rings in my head, reciting French words that translate into the moves that I have rehearsed many times. The music continues, fast and strong. My whole body feels electrified, and my heart beats along with the music.


Step step chassé piqué pirouette fouetté sauté. I fling myself into the air and time seems to stop. It seems like just me now, no one else on this lit stage. I land from the leap, gracefully, but poised for the next move. One mistake and the whole rhythm of the dance is off. Quickly glancing to my left, I see Courtney smiling brightly while executing a perfect turn. My costume has lost every ounce of discomfort. It now seems just like another prop in the performance. The music begins to slow before the big finale. We have reached the end of the dance now.


After one final turn, all the dancers run into a leap, and we land completely synchronized. The stage once again loses its light and the crowd bursts into applause. As I catch my breath in the darkness, I can hear my father’s cheer, louder than the rest. As if it were a shriek among a sea of whispers, he yells my name. And even though it is pitch-black, I smile in reply.


The curtains close on the audience and I wait for the disappointment that usually comes after a show. Since the performance is done, after months of many painstaking, four-hour long rehearsals, all I have left to look forward to is the next set of choreography for the next show, even more challenging than the last. Should I not be feeling a little depressed? No, I think to myself. I have been doing this since I was eighteen months old. Bring it on.




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This article has 12 comments. Post your own!

bella20115 said...
Aug. 23, 2010 at 9:29 am:
I <3 uuuu!!!!!m bella u r amazing and soooo talented...this story is amazing!!!! ily and awesome job bella!!!!!
 
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s0cc3rskye said...
Aug. 22, 2010 at 2:30 pm:
This story is AMAZINGG!!!!!!! Great job Bella!!:)
 
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aunty curlie said...
Aug. 19, 2010 at 10:44 am:
For anyone who has ever taken the stage to perform, this story captures all the anxiety and excitement and thrill! Great job Isabella!!
 
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cass car said...
Aug. 18, 2010 at 10:34 pm:
OMG Bella, that was Really good. I feel the same way.
 
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Tasha Stenvall said...
Aug. 18, 2010 at 12:11 pm:
You already know how much I love this story Bella, keep it up little cuz :)
 
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Isabella S. said...
Aug. 16, 2010 at 9:11 pm:
Thank you all soooo much, you have no idea how much all of those comments mean 2 me!!!!!!!!!
 
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Pepe said...
Aug. 16, 2010 at 8:33 pm:
Stunning description.  I love the audiences' faces becoming "little grey spots."
 
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darndon said...
Aug. 16, 2010 at 1:23 pm:
Being a retired Elem. Teacher and Principal, I should feel so lucky to have had a student like this! Great story, 'well written'.  The choice of words and feelings were simply outstanding.
 
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unkmac said...
Aug. 16, 2010 at 2:26 am:

Terrific imagery!  The reader FEELS the emotions of the dancer amidst the stage scene, lights, music, and crowd. 

Has your father always been loud...(in a good way)?

 
Isabella S. replied...
Aug. 17, 2010 at 4:46 pm :
hahaha, yes :)
 
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baguirre said...
Aug. 16, 2010 at 12:01 am:
The writing is explicit and mature.  Bella describes not only her emotions but the physical events.  The reader can feel her anxiety.  She seeks perfection.
 
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marilyn said...
Aug. 15, 2010 at 11:01 pm:
Wow - a talent!
 
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