I’ve always been a dancer. Movement is the only way I’ve found to feel truly free. Countless hours I’ve spent twirling in front of the mirror while the music plays. All that exists in those moments are focus and precision.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the whole production of it, too. The pointy satin shoes, layers of soft tulle floating over my hips, each golden strand swept up into a tidy bun. I never tire of it.

And, of course, nothing feeds the soul so much as starry-eyed little girls watching intently as they imagine themselves being just like me someday. The only advice I can give them is to just believe in yourself. Nobody can take your dreams from you, you can only give them up willingly. Oh, and practice! That’s especially important.

There can be some long stretches between performances, but I don’t waste a single minute. Even when I’m not moving, I’m still dancing in my head. I gaze at nothing and allow the first memorized notes of Tchaikovshy to wash over me. In my imagination I rehearse my entire act, one graceful pirouette following another, just as though I were performing it physically. I do it again and again until the dance is burned into my brain, body, and soul. I can’t allow complacency or I run the risk of being unprepared for my adoring audience.

I shudder to think of how humiliating it would be to hear the key wind, (click, click, click) and not be prepared to spring into action when lid pops open, the light turns on, and the music fills the air. That would never do. I would die of shame right there on the stage.

This is why I practice all the time. I must stay on my toes.

Author’s Note:

This was written for a contest entry using the prompt words: wind, believe, act. I noticed immediately that the first word has three very different meanings. I decided to take the path less traveled. Sure enough, all of the other contestants used the weather related meaning. Yes, I read my competition. You should, too.