In “I Am Not a Ballerina,” Yinuo Shi says things that any dancer would agree with. True ballerinas “give up their childhood in the single-minded pursuit of brilliance and perfection. There are no sleepovers, no school dances, no boyfriends, no time.”
Those who give up everything to become the best are called ballerinas. According to the author, people who do ballet as a hobby are just considered dancers. The famous ballerinas of the world are graced with long legs, hyperextensions, flexibility, and gorgeous arched feet. The dancers of the world torture themselves to imitate their idols. Many are “spending Friday nights trapped at the studio, rehearsing scenes ‘Just one more time, girls!’”
In the end, Yinuo leaves us with “I am not a ballerina. But I am trying,” which reminds readers that even if we aren’t the very best at what we strive to do, we can certainly try.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.