She stood at the end of the school hallway near the bus circle entrance. Her English teacher poked her head out of her classroom and winked at her. "Good Luck Sweetheart." Her little heart beat a staccato in her chest. Somehow, someone had gotten permission from all of her teachers for her to miss 2 days of school to attend a ballet workshop. Not just ANY ballet workshop - but a BIG one. In Dallas! With some of the older students at her dance studio. She was floored when Ms Liz first mentioned it to her last month. She was just a little middle-school kid! Why should SHE go when there were others who were older and probably much better? She finally worked up the courage to ask. And was so glad she did. It was nice to hear good things about yourself sometimes.
She looked down at her things and took a mental inventory for the 15th time. Just as she raised her head she saw Ms. Liz' car swing into the circle. She skipped out the door and caught Ms Liz smiling at her. There were 3 other girls in the car, too. She smiled back. The smile came from every pore in her body. She had never been this happy in her life.
The group checked into the convention center. The older girls giggled and were kind to her when she asked questions. "What's a convention?" "Why is this place called a convention center?" "Why are all these people with cameras here?" "Is he really THAT famous?!" She had met some of them before in class, but never spoken to them. They were really good dancers - she looked up to them.
Today she would be in a class with Delia. Delia was a great dancer and was her favorite of the big girls in the studio. She was in her mid twenties. She was funny, and nice, and pretty. Really pretty. Her hair looked JUST LIKE Farrah Fawcet's. She was in awe of her and stared while Delia tied up her toe shoes. Delia looked up, then stood up and asked "You ready? Let's go!" They walked into a huge room. So large she could only see the upper part of the far wall. There were large squares of wood laid out on top of the carpet. They were attached together to make a big, seamless dance floor. There were people everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Women in muted leotards stood talking in small clumps. They were willowy and graceful - even when standing still. Others took up floor space stretching and bending. Preparing for the class. She saw a few boys, too, but they were all as old as the big girls she came with. No one else was her age or size. She felt small and a little scared. It was more than obvious she was just a kid in a room full of grown-ups. She moved towards a back corner and started to drop her bag, when Delia grabbed her elbow. "Oh no you don't. You're not hiding in the back. We've all worked really hard to get you here, so you show them WHY you're here. You deserve this." She pulled her towards the center of the room by her elbow.
Soon enough, soft music started and a trio of instructors came out. They were the warm-up coaches. They began separating the room into smaller groups for combination work. Delia pulled her in close so they wouldn't be split up. One of the coaches came over and asked her age. "14, ma'am." The woman turned to Delia. The two whispered for a few minutes, then the coach took a step back and leaned down close to her face. "We're so glad you're here...work hard, but remember to have fun, ok?" She almost fainted on the spot.
Suddenly a hush came over the crowd. The lighting changed a bit as well as the music. People began turning to face the front of the room. Everyone began clapping and, although she could see a thing, she knew this day would be one to remember.