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Shooting for the Stars

“Come on girls, it’s time to go back,” my Group Leader’s voice rang in my head.

As I follow the line of girls down the stairs, my heart begins to beat so fast that I am sure everyone can hear it. What happens if I fall on my face or forget a step? I begin to think. All that hard work was for nothing, and that would mean that I wasted so much time coming back home after school and practicing for an hour. Then what would the point of all the heavy stage makeup upon my face, onerous Indian jewelry, and golden and orange classical Indian outfit; if I was to fall and trip? I said in my mind. Each step I took closer to the stage the more I began to doubt myself. Just then, I heard my Group Leader’s voice.

“Okay girls, so this is it. This is your first recital and many of you are probably are doubting yourselves, but don’t. All the older girls have gone through the same thing. We have all had that feeling of butterflies in the stomach and the fear of messing up, but then we learned to think positively. You all have worked hard for this spotlight and earned it. So go out there, smile, and do your dance!”

Her words left a mark on my brain. They would not go away. It was like an enormous tsunami of positivity coming and sweeping out all of the negativity. Now all I could think about was how great I was going to do on stage.

Once on stage left, awaiting my turn, I peered out onto the stage to see the group that was performing. I tried to keep my nervousness in control by think positively but the ghastly sized stage was not helping. Before I knew it the people began clapping and the curtains closed and my Group Leader was ushering us onto the stage. We were placed on our positions on stage and with a big thumbs-up she disappeared.

I took a deep breath and put on a big smile, and as the song began to play the steps came to me. I felt the rhythm through my feet, and the music kept playing. Then suddenly as it had begun the music came to a stop and we bowed at the cheering audience. The thrill of the dance ran through me. Feeling the energy and the passion, it was almost as if instead of walking, I floated off the stage!

Memories like these remind me of how important it is to not let the fear or nervousness get in the way and just do it.





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