Giselle loved to dance.
She had been dancer for as long as she could remember. Her parents always said that she was dancing before she could even walk, which really didn’t make sense. Dancing was even in her name. Giselle had been her mother’s favorite ballet to dance in. Dancing had been Giselle’s hobby, and now at 19 years old, it was her job, her living, the thing she spent her day doing.
It was Saturday, December 10th, opening night of her namesake ballet, Giselle. She was backstage at the ABC theatre getting ready to be the lead, the prima ballerina, Giselle herself. It was her childhood dream coming true, it was her mother’s dream come true. There were bright fluorescent lights everywhere. They felt like they were piercing into her soul. They were giving her a headache. It felt like the world was going to collapse. Her lungs were gasping for air, but air did not enter. She felt like tears were soon to come to her eyes. Her body and mind were filled with fear, with anxiety. But she had not the time to think of it for it was time to take the stage, to get into position. She took her place on stage, and as the curtain began to open, she began to dance her part. Dancing usually took away all of her worries, it usually made her feel free. But it was different tonight. Her worries were still there, she still felt like tears were about to appear on her face. She didn’t feel free; she felt sick.
Giselle kept dancing as flashbacks of her dying mother enter her head. Her mother had been so bony; it even hurt to hug her. She looked so sick, so pale, so unhealthy. She had been a dancer, Natalia Osipova, a famous world renowned dancer, a dancer who had all eyes on her, whose body was everyone's object of attention. And as a result this, and as a result of her career choices, she had spent her life trying to be as thin as possible. The disease, the forbidden word to a dancer- Anorexia- had taken over Giselle's mother’s mind and body; it took over everything. It even took over Giselle’s life. Giselle’s mother passed away the night of Giselle’s first performance, leaving one a single dying wish- that Giselle continue dancing.
So, here Giselle was, continuing in her mother’s footsteps, all of her footsteps. As Act Two began, Giselle danced. She danced and danced. And then she fell. She fell and the world turned black. Murmur filled the theatre as the curtains closed and the crew rushed to Giselle. Murmurs continued as help arrived and Giselle was taken away, away to get better, hopefully. Rumors spread soon after of what happened. Rumors said with murmurs. Rumors that spread around throughout the dancing community and throughout the public. Giselle never returned to the stage and she never heard the murmurs.
Giselle loved to dance.