Tuesday, January 11, 2011

First Impressions Can Be Tough

I felt horrible for Chloe the day my dream came true.  “I don't get a scholarship!” she cried.  Chloe sat in her room that day to eat lunch and refused to come down.  I didn't blame the poor girl.  Ballet had originally been her thing.
The director, Maxine Mahon, wanted me to take her nine-o-clock Saturday morning class.  But
on Wednesday that week I ran into a slight problem.  I was at the mall with Chloe and one of our best friends when I stepped on a bee.  The last time I stepped on a bee my foot swelled up to the size of a cantaloupe.  This time proved to be no different.  Saturday came and I still couldn't walk.  “We have to drive down there anyway,” my mom insisted.  “She offered you a scholarship, you should show up on the first day.”  I reluctantly got in the van with a foot two times its normal size.  
When we got there my mom and dad left me in the car to wait in apprehension.  My dad came back and opened the van's sliding door.  “She wants you to come in,” he told me.  He lifted me off the seat and carried me to the front door where Maxine herself was coming out.  “She needs to observe the class because this will be her only chance to see what it's like.”  I did like the sounds of knowing what I was getting myself into before I was expected to do anything.  Unfortunately,
 this meant my dad had to carry me in front of everyone, including my future class.  And in enough time I would realize how everyone knows everyone.  If a new person walked in it was a big deal.  Imagine a new person being carried in, with a swollen foot no less.
My class was held in the same studio I danced in the day of the studio rehearsal.  My dad set me down on a tumbling mat near the mirror. There were already a lot of girls warming up.  It made the size of my class at the rec center look pathetic.  They were all wearing pink from head to toe, with their hair held back in neat buns.  Maxine and my dad conversed a little bit while I watched.  She asked how old I was.  He informed her that in a month I would be turning twelve.  “Oh your behind,” she said bluntly.  I knew that, but hearing it made it more real and I started to worry.  That wasn't the only thing worrying
 me though.  The combinations being done were looking to fast and complicated for me.  
When I saw Maxine teach I realized why my teacher at the rec center warned me not to be intimidated by her.  Not only did she yell, but she had a stick that was used to bang in time with the counts of the music.  One girl wasn't sure what she was doing and started copying her classmates.  Maxine noticed and stopped the music, rasing her voice to lecture the girl.  After the class ended my mom showed her concern that I might not be able to keep up.  I was a little scared myself, but tried to convince her I would be fine anyways.     

When I was able to dance again nothing in my life had prepared me for how nervous I was.  I didn't think I could move my legs.  I had to deal with the fact that I wouldn't be able to keep up with the class, and in a completlry new situation.  Plus, my teacher wasn't afraid to get her point across.  On top of all that I had to handle the pressure of living up to some one's expectations.  This would have been hard for almost anybody to deal with.  It was almost impossible for me; someone who was shy, timid, and lacked confidence.
I felt horrible the entire class.  I couldn't pick up a combination to save my life.  There was another teacher who was assisting Maxine.  She was patient and spent extra time with me, but it was all in vain.  I was completely out of my league.  

When the class ended I was a bit shell-shocked.  In fact, it wasn't until almost the end of class that I realized there had been a pianist playing for us the whole time.  That was how out of it I was. On the car ride home my mom asked me if I was happy to be at the ballet school.  I lied and said yes.  But inside I wanted to quit.  I also wanted to cry, but I didn't let myself because I was too embarrassed.  I felt this way when I was alone too.  When we got home I went up to my room and only one tear, if any, fell.  After realizing my dream I wanted to give it all up.  But my pride wouldn't let me do that, so I continued on.

No comments:

Post a Comment