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breath and stride into class… and straight away crash into someone

and knock them to the ground.

‘I’m sorry!’ I cry and hurriedly stand and offer them my hand…

and then I realise. The person I have bumped into was Madame

Lefont, my new ballet teacher, and my mum’s friend’s friend’s cousin,

who mum has most definitely asked to pass back info about me. I

gulp at the disgusted expression on her face as she ignores my hand

and still manages to get up in a dignified way.

She claps her hands together and calls, ‘To the bars. In first position!’

This is how the rest of my weeks go. In pain and confusion, I try

to contort myself into the shapes that the rest of the girls can. My

mother does not even notice as she continues chatting proudly to

other mothers about her little ballerina daughter.

Soon enough it is the annual

Winter Ballet Performance

, and my

ballet teacher has placed me right at the back, where I can’t be seen,

even from the theatre balcony. I am dreading it very much and I’m

not sure how I can keep my pride intact as I go on the stage with

ballet dancers who actually know what they’re doing. My mother

would not miss this chance to see her little ballerina either.

Everything goes by in a whirlwind of time and suddenly I am on

the stage of the prestigious Bessing Academy. I cannot concentrate

and from the first moment I am covered in cold sweat and fear

swirls inside me like a snowstorm, threatening to turn me to ice as

soon as I start the performance. It’d be an understatement to say I

am petrified. I catch my mother’s eyes and she smiles proudly at me.

That’s when everything settles down, the low murmuring of the

crowd and the floodlights come on. No. My body refuses to move,

and I stand there as around me there are just silhouettes moving

slowly by. I can’t… Tears fill my eyes but still I stand there, scared stiff,

and tears start to fall down my face and I start to tremble. I am still

holding my mother’s eyes and I watch as she turns blank. Her face is

the only one I can see and right now, at this moment, it is the only

thing that matters.

I blink furiously, trying to keep in the rest of the tears. Suddenly

my mother is gone, my focus is gone on her and I can hear sniggering

and whispering, that I definitely know is about me. Energy seeps out

of my body and I fall…. Down, down, down. Just like the rain.

The Dance Of

The Rain