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My Mother's Daughter

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“Excuse me Miss, answer the question.” The voice coming from the small but harsh looking man on the other side of the room jolts me from my thoughts. I’m one of the many girls who are here today to audition for admission into Julliard. Everything was going well and then he hits me with a question like this. “Why do you want to go to Julliard?” I’m racking my brain to find an appropriate, intelligent, and interesting response. There has to be something that no one has ever said before; a line that will automatically win these three people who have seen it all.

My mother was a dancer. She was a beautiful dancer. People have said that when she danced she looked like an angel. When I was born the first thing she said to me was “Hello my dancing angel”. From the time I was two until I was 8 whenever I wasn’t sleeping or in school I was dancing. It was my passion. I was my mother’s daughter. In January 2002, my mother was in a car crash. After 7 hours in the ICU, She died.

After her death, my dad tried to purge our life of anything that reminded him of my mother. He took down her favorite paintings, redecorated the kitchen, and told me I was never to dance again. I knew how much pain he was feeling; I wanted to help him as much as I could, but giving up dancing was not something I was physically or emotionally capable of. So I started dancing in my room. I would put the music on so low that I could barely hear it. I would find old videos of my mom dancing and teach myself. When I was 12 I volunteered to help as a janitor at a local dance school. I just wanted to be close to dance. I would watch the teachers and then go home and teach myself. I still danced every second I could the only thing that had changed was that I was now hiding. I would hide in my room, the bathroom, the closet. I had to dance, but I didn’t want to hurt my dad. I felt so guilty. How could I do this to him? I wish I could find another hobby, but I was my mother’s daughter. Dance was in my veins. I knew at some point I would have to tell my dad because this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. So I sent my audition video to Julliard. I knew it was a long shot as I had no classical training in the past 10 years or any letters of recommendation, but I got a letter saying I had gotten an audition. So here I was I had just left my heart on the dance floor. I was ready to smile and leave the stage, and then the man asks “Why do you want this?” I couldn’t tell him my whole life story. He would dismiss me before I got to the punch line. I had to say something. I had to be honest. I said the first thing that came to my mind. “I don’t want to hide anymore.”



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