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The Dance Of Life This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   There is an obsession called dedication, and once it engulfs you, it never lets go. There is no cure for my obsession, but I do not want one, as my dedication thrives on the dance of life, the life I live for.

My bruised and bloody toes swell inside my shoes, but without any hesitation my feet continue to meticulously execute every step. It seems that after every combination, there is always one more. Or two. Finally the last step is done, and I relax for a moment.

As everyone in class gets ready to leave, I try that difficult turn or sequence of jumps once more before I quit. Although I will not be happy until every step is perfect, they are good enough for today. I remove my worn pointe shoes, wrap the pale, fraying ribbons around the soiled pink satin, and peel my tights from my sweaty feet. Holding my breath, I pull the protective tape from around my toes. No new blisters today. One more class has ended, and I go home. Tomorrow is another day for dancing.

Legwarmers cover my aching legs, sore from yesterday's class. At home I stretch away the pain, then continue to warm up. Carefully tying the ribbons around my ankles, I put on some music. Now it is time for my dance. My dance is always different because there is no choreography. It changes every day, depending on how I feel. There are no rules in my dance, except to feel the music, which pulsates through every vein. As the music ends I collapse to the floor, my world still spinning around me. As I come back to reality, I remember that I am just another dancer like all the others. My fantasy has ended, but tomorrow is another day for dancing.

Performance is the opportunity to excel or fail in a few valuable minutes. After months of rehearsal, it is time to be in the spotlight. The houselights dim and the world becomes silent. I stare at the dancer on stage, knowing that in a moment, I will feel all of her emotion. Fidgeting near the curtain, my mind rushes through every step, every moment. Applause fills my ears, my cue to go on. My teacher hugs me and says good luck. I give her a nervous smile, but as I go out on stage the smile becomes true. The harder I work, the luckier I get. c


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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