July 14, 2011
The stage is dark and empty
But not for long
My fingers curl around
The edge of the curtain
I know that there'll be an audience out there
And I know it'll be big

Backstage is a mess of bodies and makeup
And the atmosphere contains
Nauseating amounts of perfume and hysteria
I wrap the ribbons of my ballet shoes
Up my calves
Twist each ribbon
One-two, one-two
Warm-up slips away
And girls and boys slip into flashy outfits

The dressing room mirrors are filled to the brim with faces
So i slip into an empty dressing room
The lights flicker a bit
And a tall cracked mirror leans against the far corner
I discover why the room is always vacant
I slide into my lilac leotard
And add a white tutu
The frothy white material spills around me
I look up at a clock hanging on the wall
It's broken
But I know in my heart that it's time

The audience claps
I'm back behind the curtain again
The lights dim
It's my turn to somehow turn adrenaline into beauty
I slip through the darkness
Muscle memory takes me to the center of the stage
I kneel, and am surprisingly still
Considering how fast my heart beats
There's no one out here but me
I'm ridin' solo this time
The lights come up bright and bold
And it's on

Music pulses through the speakers
My body moves with the beats
My mind is in a fix
No more audience or restraints or talent scouts
Just music, moves, and emotion
I spin and sway and soar
All my insecurities seem to melt away
Because when I dance, I'm not just my name
Which is attached to labels like nerd and freak
I'm a star

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