I still have my first pair of dance shoes - pink and petite, with laces untied. I can still recall my first tutu, white and fluffy, decorated with ribbon and lace. And when I close my eyes, I can still smell the aroma of lipstick, hairspray, and powder overtaking the dressing room just before we took the stage.
"Break a leg!" my mother would say, and even though I didn't understand what that meant, I knew it was for good luck.
I clearly remember waiting off-stage just before my performance. I counted the seconds with each thump of my nervous and excited heart. I would repeat the dances over and over in my head, just to make sure I wouldn't forget.
Deep breath. Last stretch. Then, it was time.
The moment we had all been practicing, sweating, perfecting, analyzing, and getting ready for. The two minutes and fifty seconds dancing on stage that you work thirty weeks and countless hours for. And those 170 seconds make it all worthwhile because they are the best 170 seconds you have ever experienced. You feel empowered, liberated, energized.
As you exit stage left, you can't help but smile. You are proud. And your first thought: "I can't wait to do it again."
So, again and again, it went. Many stages, many dances, many smiles, many tears.
I have since packed away the dance shoes, the tutu, the lipstick, the hairspray and the powder, but I have not, and will never pack away the admiration I have for dance.
If you have ever been a dancer, I know you feel the same. Join in the conversation by talking back! Write your favorite dance memory by commenting below! I look forward to hearing your stories.
Marketing Intern and U of M Student