Melissa F.

A Moment In Time

After a lifetime of preparation and years of rigorous rehearsals, all the sweat and tears, all the blisters and the bruises were finally paying off.  Long hours of learning strenuous new material had ended and all Blair had left was a three - minute solo to express her artistic ability.  Being cast for this solo in the spring showcase at her dance studio was a chance to show off her hard work and dedication of her lifelong passion: ballet.  She wanted to make so many people proud including herself.  She remembered when her late grandmother would take her to see the Boston Ballet perform every year when she was younger.  After the show, Blair would go home, put on her pink tutu and dance around her room listening to a new classical CD her father had bought her.  She did not care if she was dancing to music from “Swan Lake” or the top 20 hits; she just enjoyed feeling the rhythm of the music and the jolt of energy she got from dancing.  Blair could also always count on her mother, her number one fan, to be sitting in the front row smiling as she watched her daughter perform effortlessly.  These are the people I am dancing for, Blair kept reminding herself.  On the day of the performance, the music felt more melodic, each note sounding more defined that she had remembered during rehearsals. Her well - worn ballet slippers appeared like newly woven pink fibers, the stage felt bigger and Blair stood taller.  She had always risen to every occasion that had been presented to her and her dance teacher was confident that this time would be no exception.

Prior to the performance, Blair’s dance teacher wanted her to run through the solo one last time. After all, a lifetime of dedication was going to be compressed into a three - minute variation, 180 seconds of pure exhilaration, and numerous counts of eight. Blair chassed to the side of the empty studio to begin her solo.  Every step developed from the natural beauty and grace she possessed.  It was time for the dramatic finale to Blair’s solo.  She slid her feet along the smooth, black, Marley dance floor in preparation for her majestic leap.  Breathlessly, Blair leapt into the air and soared across the grand studio.  As she felt the gust of air rush across her face, she knew her past failures were behind her. Her history of not being able to land a triple pirouette or to hit an attitude derriere had been overcome by the additional hours of practice.   Once her two feet left the ground, her mind took off as well.  She could no longer feel the heavy studio air.  Instead, visions of what she hoped her life would turn out to be flashed before her eyes.

Blair had accepted the job of her dreams and was on her way to New York City to assume the roll as a principle dancer in the American Ballet Theatre.  Her train ride there was filled with nostalgia as she passed familiar places where her adolescent dance training originated.
Blair’s fantasies finally were realized when she hailed her first cab to her apartment fifteen blocks away from the theatre.  Week by week, she became a stronger dancer and learned to be an independent young woman. She felt like the luckiest person in the world.  This marvelous feeling soon changed when she received a memo notifying her that her rent would be increasing by twenty percent beginning on the first of the following month.  This news seemed even more troublesome considering there was only one week left in November.  Blair immediately started panicking as thoughts raced around her head.  She could not stop thinking about the possibility of losing her apartment. Living on a dancer’s salary meant that this was one of the few places where she could afford to live.  Her head flooded with depressing thoughts of all that could go wrong.  Not thinking clearly, she feared she would have to…  

“Blair! What are you doing?” her dance teacher bellowed out.  The striking voice snapped Blair back to reality.

Uncontrollably, Blair came crashing down to the floor.  Now she was staring at the scuffmarks on the dance floor and felt the strain in her arms as she held herself up from falling flat on her face.  Once again, her daydreams had caused her to loose focus, control and balance.

“I am so sorry. I had this thought,…” she started to reply.

“Hopefully, about getting your head in the game, young lady,” said her dance teacher in the stern nature that made Blair nervous.

She was feeling the pressure and knew this was her moment to prove to herself that she was mature enough to execute a role that was so important to her. She saw this as the difference between failure and living the pleasurable parts of her constant daydreams.


Copyright 2002-2007 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2007 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.