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Dancing Through the Pain

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My heavy breathing echoes in the empty room, the sound waves bouncing off the walls and reverberating in my ears. I can feel the sweat beading on my forehead and my back. I pull on my pink tights, my purple leotard, my black tutu and my hair is folded into a bun by my shaking hands. Straping on my new pointe shoes, I tell myself to breathe for an instant. I dash out of the dressing room and hurry to the side of the stage in the room next door.
They are already calling my name. Without time to think about what I’m about to do, I put on my “dance face” and waltz onto the stage. Right, left, right, left. One step at a time. The shank of my shoe slightly squeaks as my foot hits the hardwood floor each time. I position myself, take a deep breath, and then let myself absorb the music.

Dance is a sport. Anyone who disagrees is clearly uninformed of how hard it is. The entire point is to make it look easy, but it is exactly the opposite. The muscle required to do amazing things with your body causes dancers to weigh more than they look. For example, I look like I weigh 100 pounds, but I have 20 pounds of extra muscle. If you stop practicing, you loose it. Remembering every step of the dance and not blanking out in the process is time consuming and takes total concentration. It’s just as complicated as any other sport out there. The only difference is the grace, or “flowiness.”

As I roll over my shoulder during my solo, pain sears through my body. I feel a warm liquid flowing down my back. I instantly know what I’ve done. I don’t reach back and touch the wound, for fear of something worse than what I’m thinking it is. I am currently frozen, lying facedown on the floor, tears oozing from my eyes. My mom starts coming up the stairs to help me, but I motion her to stop. I have to finish what I started. I am not a quitter.

I stand up and continue my dance. The jumps, the stunts, everything including parts that use my hurt shoulder. Tears flow down my face, smearing my makeup and hitting the floor. My body tells me to stop, to just deal with the present pain rather than adding to it. But I will not stop.

After finishing my routine, I stand up and walk off the stage. EMT’s have already arrived to help me. I hear words I never wanted to hear in my entire life. Things like “fractured,” “bone is sticking out,” “lost so much blood.” I don’t want to die. I don’t want to be hurt. I just want to dance.

I ask all the people who are not on the same page as me to get there. The next time you see a dance, appreciate it. Look for the muscles and strength displayed in each fluid motion. Look for the passion in their moves. Look for the drive in their eyes. Look under the surface, into their very hearts. You will be surprised at what you will find. They have more guts than you may think.



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CheekymonkeyThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Apr. 3, 2011 at 1:18 pm:
From what you've writen its clear you are really passionate about dancing and thats amazing. I hope your shoulder is alright now.
 
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