The three of us fidget backstage. “Shake me! Shake me!” Jumping lightly and repeatedly from foot to foot, snapping our fingers. Superstitions. Excited whispers to each other. We’re on deck. Okay- breathe. A few last stretches and warm-ups. We’re ready. We have prepared for this for months. “Just have fun, that’s what matters most. Show ‘em what you got!” The Judge comes over the speaker. “Number two ‘o eight. Please welcome the small group trio from Creative Dance Center to the stage!” Filled with forced enthusiasm. Oh my gosh; that’s us. We hear the music begin to blare from the speakers. The loud techno beats sound so familiar. We proceed to go out to do what we love in front of people who will tell us if we are acceptable or not. Any little mistake could cost you everything. If the judge doesn’t like the precise shade of the lipstick. Reduction. If one person’s dress is a centimeter shorter than the others. Reduction. Your foot is pointed the point of tremendous pain. It could go further. Reduction. Why do we subject ourselves to this criticism? Who are they to tell us if we “have it” or not? But still we do it. And it’s never good enough. Better luck next time.