Picture it and write: Pressure

by joetwo

Hello, this is my contribution for picture it and write for this week from Ermilia blog here. Once again the picture is not mine it is just for inspiration. Anyway, Enjoy


Sandra had always wanted to be a dancer. She saw its as the most pure form of art, the most beautiful method of expression. She knew it was going to be a lot of work but she wasn’t scared of a little hard graft. From the age of five, in a tutu she was learning fast, astounding her teachers with her dedication. Little sessions after school became weekend marathons to summer camps. Every waking opportunity she had, school was only an irrelevance she did the bare minimum in, she was practising, improving form, toning her body, getting everything she could out of herself. And it was working. The semi professional after-school teacher, gave way to a professional coach who in turn recommended her to the Academy.

The Academy was where she wanted to be. There they got even more out of her than she thought was possible. Perfection wasn’t just aspired to, it was demanded and if there was any issue at all with her form or technique, then it was demanded that she would work harder, for as long as it took to rectify the problem.

But it was all worth it. She got ever better, started to perform in small roles and was eventually chosen for a lead. A beautiful, emotional role that though hard to pull off, was stunning when it was. Sandra knew that a first leading role could either make or break a career, so she worked harder than ever. She ate, drank and slept rehearsals. It was a lot of pressure, but she was no stranger to a little hard work, it would be worth it in the end, she would be a dancer.

The first night was a sell out. Sandra’s family and friends must have taken at least half of the seats, they wouldn’t miss this for the world. Sandra knew she wouldn’t let them down. Roughly a quarter-way through the performance was Sandra’s cue. She came from behind the curtain and danced. She danced better than she had ever done before. It was poetry in motion, positively dripping in feeling. What looks she got into the audience, showed a few tears in their eyes. It was going perfectly.

To end the act, she had to run at the male lead and leap into his arms. From the other side of the stage she got a good run in, she was positively bounding,  when her legs collapsed out from under her. She tried to get up but things started to get dark, the last thing she saw was her partner being pushed out-of-the-way by the director shouting for her attention.

The doctors said it was a vessel in her brain that burst, that the strain she had put it under had become too much, that it could have gone at any time and she was lucky there was so many people there to help her.

She still loves dancing. The form, the music, she loves to watch sometimes. Often it is a piece she knows and in her mind she runs through the choreography herself, making the moves in her mind. Not that anyone else could tell as she sits, silently, confined to her wheelchair, knowing all too well the terrible cost, the ultimate price, of perfection.