Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Achievement (03/08/12)
TITLE: The Performance
By Lois Farrow
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She thought back to the first class at the beginning of the year, of how scared she had been, how she had nearly pulled out before she even began. At 35 she was the oldest of the new dancers, but she needn’t have worried, age was no barrier. How glad she was now that she had hung in there and persevered.
“Hey Melinda, glad to meet you,” Jessie, her dance partner, had greeted that first night. From then on there had been a great rapport, as Jessie guided her through all the exercises and moves, patiently helping her when she needed extra assistance. Soon they flowed as a team, and Melinda seemed transported to another world when they twirled and glided across the floor. Week after week the whole team worked with dedication at every practice, and now they had come to this moment.
Jessie gave her arm a squeeze. “We’ll be great,” she said. “Don’t worry about a thing, it will all go beautifully.”
The younger dancers went first. Melinda strained to see the performance, but couldn’t see much. The beat of the reverberating music reached them and she felt her excitement rising. She could see the lights and she knew they were giving it their best effort. The audience erupted in a huge round of applause when the first dance was finished. There was a pause and then the second act began.
Melinda and Jessie with three other pairs were the third act. The music began and with the aid of long ribbons Jessie pulled Melinda’s wheelchair across the stage and around in a large circle. The dancers formed intricate patterns in time with the music while the lights played awesome patterns. Melinda didn’t have time to look toward the audience, but with the lights blinding her she wouldn’t see anyone, anyway. She concentrated hard, flinging her arms wide, leaning forward or back at the right time, head thrown back or thrust forward, working with Jessie every moment. In no time they were off-stage, the first performance was over.
“Wonderful,” Jessie told her. “That was so great, you did so well, we all did.” Huge grins lit up their faces, and the group returned to the wings to wait their next and final performance. At last it was over. What would people think? How did they really go?
They didn’t have long to wait. Melinda’s parents came backstage and hugged her tight. “We are so proud of you all,” said Melinda’s mother. “That was awesome! Thank you so much, Jessie, for making this possible.” For their daughter who would never walk it was an ecstatic moment to have danced with this professional dance company. A wonderful achievement!
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