Wednesday, April 1, 2009

THE # ONE PRETTIEST GIRL

It wasn't Emily F. Her name was Carlie, and she did toe tap, back flips, no handed cartwheels and wore a tutu with sparkles on it for the 4th grader's talent show.

I wanted to be in the show but my talent was getting the highest marks.

After the show, Carlie and I were walking home – I was wearing a royal blue dress with thin white stripes. At my father's factory, they made KATE GREENAWAY dresses. Once a month I'd go to the factory with him. He'd take me to racks with my size and let me pick out a sample.

Carlie was bubbling over about acrobatics and the splits and tap classes, and her next performance at the local dance school's annual show for the parents. Looking down at my dress, which was princess style (Daddy said) because it curved and fitted my almost curvy, not really curvy little girl shape, I was getting ready to compliment Carlie politely --I didn't want her to know I was jealous.

I opened my mouth and said, "I want to be a dancer more than anything in the world."
Carlie said, "Your legs are nice. You have a nice shape. Your neck is long. You do sort of look like a ballerina."

I took it! I grabbed it. It was my Tell Nobody dream that had been getting larger and larger -- like a weather balloon, radius 4 feet, 6 feet, 8 feet Pi - R - squared -- it was already big. Carlie's words enabled me to blow air into the balloon and it's never stopped growing.

As an ex-dancer, I dance every day. Not exercise. Nope. I go into my studio. Its a 45 x 25 foot space. It transforms into a rentable theater, which I don't rent out. It's only for me, JC and JD. In it, I warm up, very simply, unstrenuously, without boring endless repetitions and the hope of losing weight or firming up sloppy saggy anything (though there are places where it might be good but I don't look at them). The Warm-up's about 26 minutes of a basic ballet barre that I've evolved, that fits what I can do without too much discomfort. Then I switch on the music. (Vaughan Williams, "Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis.")

Seventeen minutes. It's choreographed. A visit into the room: I've placed 3 chairs, a small box to step up on, a barre made of pipes, that JC made so I could have a portable bar in the studio. The choreograhy is divided into 4 sections. I dance a section for two days, then the next section for two days; the next, and then the next. After eight days of sections, I dance the whole 17 minutes for two days. Then I'm back to the beginning again.

Thank you Carlie, I don't do toe tap, but I become the # one prettiest girl in the world just about every ten days.

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