Ballet Buns and Barbie Boomboxes

By
Gliding
I shoveled the meat loaf and corn bread dinner down my throat in anticipation of my favorite part of the night. I wiped my mouth on my hand and sprung away from the dinner table so I could get to my room and change. The short hallway leading to the winding steps stretched further and further with every step. “I think I can I think I can” the four year old voice sang in my head. I got as far as the first step when my mother’s voice interrupted me like an alarm clock in the morning, “Rachel, you forgot to clear your plate!” Those seven words echoed in my head as I trudged back to the table to clear that blasted plate. Fast as lightning, I cleared it and found myself zooming up the stairs like a tornado. Before I knew it I was in my room rummaging in my black hole of a closet for a suitable outfit. After the fifth try I found the perfect thing…a light pink leotard with a bow and pearls on the neckline and a flowing pink tutu that was beginning to rip due to overuse. Then I made the final descent down the staircase, the excitement in my body building up like a volcano about to erupt. I walked into the kitchen, dragging my Barbie boom box complete with a microphone. I started off the show twirling, leaping, singing, and even sliding on the floor. The tutu bounced up and down as I moved around like a fish out of water. I watched my parent’s smiling faces and thought to myself “I was born to be a dancer”.




A Little Piece of Heaven
“Mom, mom, mom, mommy! Sign me up for a dance class.” I yelped as I tugged at my mother’s pants. Of course she did, no one wants to listen to a four year old whine.
I woke up the morning of my first dance class especially excited and slipped into a new purple leotard and tights. I frolicked down the stairs and floated to the car. I struggled to climb into the car, which was twenty times the size of me. Finally buckled into my car seat, my feet swung side to side in sheer joy. I squirmed impatiently and danced to the background music of the radio. Glancing out the window the world seemed like such a big place, the cars whirling by and the blue sky stretching on forever. To pass the time I stared at the clouds picking out many shapes, “Mommy look, a unicorn in the clouds!” She laughed and I laughed and next thing I knew we arrived at the dance studio. The door was hardly open yet I shot out of the car at record speed. Most mothers had to drag their little girls to dance, but my mom didn’t have that problem. I skipped and bounced and pulled her until we walked into the doors of hope. I stepped onto the plush carpet, the ceiling fans blowing summer air on my beaming face. A kind woman walked over, and all of a sudden I became shy. She introduced herself as Mrs. Jamie and as it turns out, she was my teacher. Forgetting my nerves, I kissed mom goodbye and stepped eagerly onto the shining wood floor of the studio holding Mrs. Jamie’s hand. I did the moves perfectly while I watched other ignorant girls hang off the bar and pick their nose. Only then did I peek at the window only to see my mother standing there with a faint smile on her face and a tear rolling down her cheek.
Um, ow!
Years passed and I grew taller and my baby fat seemed to disappear, I was now considered a true dancer. Every day I woke up and felt that anxious four year old just waiting to bust out in moves.
The dance studio called to me as I listened to the science teacher drone on about organisms. The bell rang and I ran to the car greeting my mom with a loud, “Go go go! Places to be, dances to learn!” Whirling through the afternoon traffic I hit my head on the top of the car in an attempt to get my leotard and tights on. We slid into a handicap parking spot, which just so happens to be illegal, and I bounced out of the car with the same intensity of the energizer bunny. The familiarity of the studio comforted me and encouraged me to keep going. I bobbled up the stairs and plopped down in my usual spot, right by the stairs. Pulling the sparkling, wonderful, torturous shoes out of my bag I could already feel the blister rising on my pinky toe. I put the pointe shoes on my callused feet, draped the ribbons over my ankles, and stared as the shoes seemed to say, “Come on, you know you want to.” I gave in to their temptation and went into the far studio with the big windows and long bars. It was empty, encouraging me to spin and jump to my heart’s content. I did, not thinking of the pain that would greet me as soon as I stopped. My body began to glisten with sweat and after about ten minutes of pure delight, I stopped and collapsed onto the cool marley waiting for the aching pain in my arches to recede. As much as my feet cried, my heart was full of bliss, and the world waved at me as I danced the day away.





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