The smell of sweaty teenage boys and fresh hope wafted up into my nose. I was finally here. The moment I had been waiting for my whole middle school career had arrived. Every dance class, technique training, recital, and competition led up to this very moment. I was to tryout for the dance team. So many beautiful and talented girls surrounded me, and I wondered if I would make the cut. Seated at a table, a bony, blonde woman with pink glasses asked me, “Hello! Where is your sheet?” With a forced smile, the bony lady extended her hand as I placed my sheet into her fragile arms. After I passed the sign up table, I put my bag down on the hard, tan floor and prepared to stretch. With a singular motion, I slid on my broken in jazz shoes and was ready to learn. A tall brunette with lengthy legs demonstrated for us how to do a proper Fouetté turn, and we all stared in admiration. A beautiful array of dance moves performed by the officers followed, and I soon realized how hard I would have to work to make this team. Finally, the most anticipated part of the morning, learning the tryout dance, arrived. The next 60 minutes were the most stressful and intense moments of my life. The dance was full of complicated Pirouettes and Grand jetés. Even though the dance only lasted a maximum of 2 minutes, the performance felt like a lifetime. My head filled with 8 counts that I soon memorized like the back of my hand. The nerves swirling inside of me were almost too much to handle. After all 30 of the candidates finished practicing, the time for tryouts, the part we were all dreading, approached. The brunette officer with beautiful legs handed me a number, 26, and quite frankly said, “Go break a leg, kid.” With those words of encouragement, I pinned my number onto my chest, and I knew I was as ready as I would ever be. After feveriously practicing the dance over and over again, I finally heard the bony, blonde lady say, “We are ready for number 26.” With a quick stretch and some inspirational words, I forced myself to enter the audition room. Before I comprehended what was happening, I heard a voice say, “Your music is on,” and the rest was history. Strangely enough, I did not necessarily remember doing the moves that I had practiced for so long. I just remembered feeling like I had finally found where I belonged. After number 30 had completed her audition, the blonde, bony lady told us to come back in 30 minutes for the results. Relentless thoughts flooded my mind. Did I nail my Grand jeté? Did I fall out of my Pirouettes? Those were just a few of the haunting questions that sprinted through my mind. I walked out of the auditorium to see my mother waiting for me with a promising smile on her face. The hot, black leather seats stung my thighs through my stockings as we patiently waited for the results that would change my life. After what seemed like a lifetime, the poster was hung outside of the gym. My Mother and I looked at each other paralyzed with anxiety. With a forceful push, my mom kicked me out of the car, and with no other choice, I slowly walked up to the board. Frantically searching the board for my number, I started to lose hope, but then, at the very corner of the board, labeled in blue and silver, read “26”. I ran to my mother’s car and screamed, “I MADE IT, MOM!” Five years later, I am one of eight seniors on the dance team. Making this team not only taught me the importance of hard work, but this accomplishment also made me fall even more in love with my passion, dancing.
Blue Jay Bound
December 6, 2017