Cherry-Colored Curtains

April 10, 2018
By Anonymous

I was sixth in the lineup for Pam’s Dance Company 2017 Recital. As I watched the routine prior to my solo, beads of sweat trickled down my temple; my hands were trembling from the anxiety and nervousness radiating about my upper body. Adrenaline rushed throughout my frame, causing tremors to ignite from my toes to my spine. 1:13 PM. I’m on in two minutes. Amnesia has sprouted a seed in my mind and I cannot remember my routine. Panic was filling within me as I glanced onstage only to meet a dark, bare stage, waiting upon my arrival.

I was directed the confirmation nod to take my place on stage. I then staggered nervously towards my destination, breathing more heavily with each step. The hiss of the fog machine circulating beside my feet interrupted my thoughts. Soon, the cherry-colored curtains would be pulled, and my nervous frame will be revealed to the roaring audience staring back at me.

As I took a deep breath, I braced myself and took my final pose in fifth position. The familiar clicking of the curtain being drawn back heightened my apprehension, and the spotlight focused on my body. My heart beat drowned out the sound of the audience; I was desperately flooding my brain in attempt to remember every intricate detail of my routine. My song had just begun.

As soon as the first note came alive, my mind forgot the routine, but my body followed accordingly. I needed perfect poise, pointed toes, straight legs, and a big smile in smooth, continuous motions to nail my routine. My leaps needed to slice with precision through the air, and my toes needed to be cramping from pointing so hard. I had a few more turns I would need to be spotting with perfect accuracy the entire time. I would then be drawing a close to my grand finale: a double pirouette into right splits. As I prepped for my final turn with all my might, I landed it perfectly and fell into my splits, only to feel a sudden pop as the curtain neared closing time. This wasn’t part of my choreography. This wasn’t how the grand finale of my routine was supposed to end.

Amongst the closure of the curtain and the audience out of sight, I struggled to my feet and soon felt a jolting pain, throbbing throughout my right thigh. I hurriedly hopped off stage only to be followed by my dance instructor and another dancer nearby. Ice was brought to my side to help with the pain, and I was being informed that my hamstring was torn. With despair, I looked up at the clock to see how much time I had before my next number would begin; it read 1:16 PM. I had nine minutes to prepare for my next number and continue on with the remainder of the two shows.

The author's comments:

I have been in dance for twelve years, and I still continue to love every single thing about it. I want readers to see my passion and perserverance for the sport.

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