Ballet · Writing

Bright

AAWC Challenge 2016

Story #4

They’ve told her all her life that she is bright. If that was true, then why did she choose such a dumb career as dancing? She wishes that she could remember the reason. 

Everyday, she sneaks away while everyone else is on break, finds an empty studio, and begins rehearsing again. That’s another thing bright people don’t do: repeat the same thing over and over. 

The last golden rays of sun lay across her face as she drills the steps once again. The rays shine into the mirror brightly and reflect across the walls, dancing as she dances, and moving as she moves. She slices the light with her movements, breaking the brightness with her shadowy limbs. The music is ringing in her ears, but cold, dead silence fills her heart. 

She has silenced everything about herself for the sake of her dream. She has forgotten why she really dances. She has lost her bright luster underneath the layers of frustration that have built up during every company class and rehearsal. Her heart is calloused to her own genius lying within her soul. 

Again, and again she keeps pounding the steps into the floor. She knows who she is becoming and she hates it. It isn’t her. She is losing herself. 

The light of dusk is so bright that it fills the entire room with an untouchable beauty. It envelops the mirror so that she can no longer see her reflection. Frustrated that she can no longer see herself, she stops dancing and stomps her foot on the floor. 

“Really?” She exclaims in anger. 

Eager to use all of her time, she sits on the floor and stretches, staring into the mirror, waiting for the light to leave. As she glares into the mirror, the light seems to break something in her spirit. It softly raises inquiries about her anger. Defensively, she tries to argue back, but there is no argument to be made. 

The shield that she has built around her heart begins to crack, and she looks into the mirror again, able to see her reflection this time. What has happened to her joy? Has the very dream that gave her such joy taken it away? 

She ponders this, and knows that it isn’t the fault of the dream. It is her own selfishness and greed. Her race to the top has only brought her lower. She knows that something has to change. Closing her eyes, she prays a prayer that she hasn’t prayed since middle school. 

“God, help me to follow Your will, not my own.”

A jolt of joy spreads through her heart and flashes across her face. Her green eyes are bright, her heart fearless. 

She unites the shoes that shackle her for eight hours a day, and stands upon her bare feet. She pulls the pins out of her shining brown hair and drops them on to the floor. Her hair flashes in the sunlight as it cascades to her waist. 

She begins rehearsing again, but she now follows the light, not the steps. She dances with the brightness instead of against it, and she hardly looks at herself at all. It doesn’t matter how she looks or how perfect her technique is. All that matters now is that her brightness has returned, and she intends to do something with it.

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