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Forever a Carmelette
“Girls, get up and get in line!” Mrs. Doran screams as she paces nervously around the fourth floor of the Walker Street building.
“We need to practice these dances!”
Reluctantly, I slowly walk to the center of the floor and take my place in line. Looking back at my teammates, I begin to think to myself, “Wow, I never imagined the day would come when I am a senior on the dance team that I had spent countless hours dreaming about when I was younger.”
“This is it. Carmelettes ends in May. This dance team that I had worked so hard to get on will end in only a few months.”
All of a sudden, I become weak and my stomach churns. Barely being able to walk straight, I can feel the sweat rolling down my face and into my school blouse. As I quietly take deep breathes in order to calm my nerves, memories begin to arise in my mind of how I got to be where I am today.
“Mom, are we there yet?” I anxiously asked my mother as we drove to my first dance team competition.
“No, only thirty more minutes,” she said.
I could not wait to get to the competition in Lafayette. This would be the first time I had ever got to perform in front of an audience (much less compete against other girls for a trophy). The idea of this whole experience seemed incredible to me, and I was ready to take the floor. As my elementary school dance team and I entered the stadium, we put our bags down and took our seats next to our competitors. With the competition starting in only a few minutes, I quickly put on my uniform, sprayed my hair with tons of hairspray, applied fire-truck red lipstick to my lips, and sprinkled glitter all over myself. “Perfect!” I thought, “Nothing can get better than this.”
Since my dance team had to perform first in our division, we waited nervously on the side of the stage and watched the high school teams perform before us.
“Up next, please welcome the Carmelettes from Mount Carmel Academy,” I heard the announcer say into the microphone.
As I watched the Carmelettes perform their routine, I was enthralled with every second of their dance: the perfect lines, the never ending energy, the incredible choreography, the amazing technique, and the love each girl had for her team. It was then that I knew what I wanted to do in high school: I wanted to be a Carmelette.
After that competition, I began training for one of the scariest days of my life: Carmelette tryouts. Determined to make the team, each night for a year I learned every possible routine, stretched my legs, practiced my turns, and watched countless videos of the Carmelettes.
Then, the big day came. I silently walked into the Mount Carmel gym not knowing anyone, and quietly found a corner to practice the tryout dance until Mrs. Doran handed me my number. “Eighty-one!” I thought, “There are ninety six girls trying out for twelve spots on the team, and with my luck I had to be one of the last girls to dance.”
Anxiously, I took my place in the bleachers and waited for my group to be called. I felt my heart racing. I could barely breathe. Sweat poured down my face. My stomach felt like it had been twisted up like pretzel. Then, the moment came.
“Numbers eighty to eighty-two please take the floor.”
I nervously got up from my seat and went to the middle of the floor. The music started, and I danced like I have never danced before.
All of a sudden, my memories quickly stop as I hear my teammate say, “Come on, we have to get up and do the dance again.”
I feel a faint smile come to my face as I stand up and get in line. Never have I been so proud. I worked so hard to get to be where I am today, and I could not be happier. This is my team. These are my friends. This is my life. One day soon this experience will come to an end, but in my heart I am forever a Carmelette.