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I couldn’t think of a time I had ever felt so much pressure. I loved dance with all my heart, but standing next to the giant black curtains towering above me and listening to the hundreds of people in the audience clap and cheer made me shiver with fear. They were cheering for the other dancers. Soon it would be my turn, and what if they didn’t cheer for me?
I tried to ignore my doubt, remain calm, and take a deep breath, but nothing was more concerning than the bright lights and unfamiliar faces in the audience. My heart started beating miraculously faster and I got the feeling that it would pump right out of my chest and onto the cold black floor glistening with sparkles. This was my night to shine and nobody had warned me that this would happen.
Time went on and I found myself stretching for what seemed like the millionth time, pushing and pushing my limits. “No, not good enough,” I thought. I yanked and pulled until I got the perfect rotation, afraid that my idea of perfect still wasn’t good enough.
Another dancer behind me was staring at me. I could feel her cold eyes examining my every move.
“You know, maybe you should work on that more,” she taunted.
I looked at her and quickly turned away, trying to ignore the pressure that was deepening inside of me.
“Don’t worry, I’m saving it for when I’m actually on stage,” I remarked.
She seemed like she was a beautiful dancer, tall, thin, and makeup done to perfection. Too much perfection.
“Good luck!” she whispered in a sarcastic voice, and for a minute I felt the need to go out and dance. To let my heart explode out of it’s cage. To get rid of the pressure that was sunken deep in my soul.
It was my turn next, so I stepped forward timidly and took a few more deep breaths, ignoring the girl that was now glaring at me. This was it, this was my moment to shine, and I wasn’t going to let anything get in my way, not even her. The pressure had shrunken and all I wanted to do was dance.
“Up next is act number 255, Breathe,” said the announcer.
I picked up my sky blue skirt and elegantly walked to the center of the stage. The spotlight was on me and as the first beat of music grew louder, I started to dance. It was like I was in a trance. Every step I took lifted a new weight off of my shoulder and every breath I took enlightened me. The arrogant girl was still standing backstage, probably trying to find a way to put me down, but none of it mattered anymore. The pressure was gone now and I could just dance.
Finally the music faded to an end and I stepped off of the stage prouder than ever. I took a look at the girl backstage who had continued to stare me down with her envious eyes and I proceeded to glare back. There was no need to be nervous anymore.
“Goodluck!” I remarked in a harsh tone, just as she had. I rolled my eyes and walked away, ignoring the girl, and celebrating my big accomplishment.