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A dancer, a real dancer is someone who puts all of his or her heart, soul, life, and hard work into dancing. A dancer is someone who practices until perfection is made, never giving up, even if it takes weeks on end. A dancer is someone who gives their all even when they don’t feel like it or don’t think that his or her body can stand the pressure needed. A dancer dances when music is playing and often times when it is not. A dancer lives for their performance, their few minutes of fame.
It was that time. It was time for the performance. She was ready. She had prepared most of her life for this night. It may seem, to others, that preparing your entire life for one night is a waste of time or isn’t worth it. She is a dancer and dance is her life. It is no waste of time. It was a way of expression, a way of beauty, and a way of life that only a select few have the endurance to live. For these select few, dancing and performing are what they enjoy most. Nothing pleases them more than pretty music, an empty floor, and a pair of jazz shoes. She is a dancer through it all.
The costume, although not very comfortable or attractive, was important for her performance. It made her look and feel like the most beautiful woman in the world. Everyone in her routine had the same costume, and it made the group of giggling girls look more like a group of graceful swans. As the dancers put the costumes on, they instantly were transformed from a girl in a jogging suit to a ballerina. The air smelled of hair spray and new leather jazz shoes. Sequins and sparkles were all over the floors or the dressing rooms.
It was easy to tell just by walking into the room that it was time for a performance. The makeup on the dancers face fully chalked on. No blemishes in sight. It was time. Tendus, pliés, arabesques, and pirouettes were all taking place as part of the dancers’ practice. “Practice makes perfect” was and is a good saying for a dancer. “Practice makes blisters” may however be a more accurate one. Either way you look at it, practice is essential for a good performance. So practice was what the dancers did as they waited for their turn in the spotlight. Practice took away some of the tension and gave the dancers something to do other than pace back and forth with sweaty palms.
The dancers practiced until it was their turn to get up on the stage. When it was their turn, the dancers hearts filled with joy, and they all smiled. They all felt like they were in the right place when they were on stage. The lights, the wooden floor, the audience, and the music… it was perfect. And as all of this was put together, the dancers joined in, and their few minutes of fame were perfect and wonderful. They moved and swayed and joined together in beautiful unison. As they lifted their moves to the crowd, they glowed with determination and perfection.
A dancer may look a beautiful, a freshly bloomed flower, but on the inside her body is mangled and hurt. Dancers have tendonitis in all of her joints, bruises covering her knees and arms. Many dancers have hip replacements at the age of 31. Her body is ruined; although she doesn’t care, her body will always be mangled and hurt until the end of time. But to the dancer, it is all worth the few moments on the stage under the lights.
When a dancer is out on the floor, she is with her team, all flowing at once as if they were one person. A team is one. They practice as one, they dance as one, and they even come together as one off of the floor. A team is a family through thick and thin, a family, through sweat and tears, and sometimes blood. A team will push her past her limits, past all of the mistakes and embarrassing things that might happen on the floor. Yes, they might laugh and smile at her, but that just means that they truly love her. There are no secrets in a “dance” family.
I am a dancer. I wake up at 4:45 am to do arabesques and pirouettes. I wear uncomfortable costumes and bold makeup. I practice from dusk to dawn. And I never give up even thought it may hurt or I don’t think I can do it any more. My feet may not be the prettiest, but they are the strongest.
I am a dancer.