She hadn’t felt this insecure in a long time, and it was a feeling she did not miss.
She wanted out of the audition, out of the studio, out of her tight leotard, out of the eyes of the judges.
She watched the girl before her do a calypso, a leap she had never learned, like it was easy. She watched as every girl in the room nailed a turn that was so complex and foreign to her.
And she felt everyone watching her as she stood on the side, choosing to opt-out.
Like it was normal for a dancer to do six turns in a row.
Like she wasn’t severely behind in her technique compared to these other girls, these other dancers.
Her sister was accepted into the company.
Why couldn’t she do it too?
Her brain was foggy with thoughts as she struggled to keep up with the choreography.
She wasn’t fast enough, sharp enough, good enough.
The room felt too small, too loud, too judgmental.
The encouraging words from friends and family meant nothing to her at this moment. The confidence she had built up from the support of her old dance teacher withered away.
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“You’re excellent at controlling your movements.” “You know how to really show emotion.” “You have great stage presence.” “You know how to perform."
Did she really, though?
Dance had been what she was known for among her friends.
She was “The Dancer.”
Now, she was just a dancer.
Could she really even call herself a dancer?
Days pass, she rolls out of bed, knowing the email is already waiting for her.
“Unfortunately, you were not chosen to be a new member of the company.”