The Best Ballerina In Class


Sitting silently in the hallway,

I keep my heavenly headphones plugged in.

Playing a playlist of classical composers,

That I have come to call fond friends.

Come 6:42 I resolutely remove my headphones,

And begin to pack up my miniscule mess.

As everyone waiting in the hushed hallway,

Prepares to enter the symbolic studio.

Stretching slowly into a standing position,

Dancers determinedly line the wall.

And as soon as the troop of tiny girls burst forth from the door,

It is the time where we are friends no more.

Once the crowded course is clear,

We file in past the frigid frame,

Finding a favorite free space along the barre,

And slide south to the floor.

Bulging bags are ripped open,

Everyone in a frantic flurry.

Pointe shoes scattered across the room,

As we ballerinas ensure our beautiful buns are secure.

And by the time our beloved ballet mistress walks into the room,

We are almost finished trying our rosy ribbons tight around our ankles.

Bags are sloppily shoved towards all corners of the rectangular room.

As the pianist walks in with a small smile,

I take my place standing straight, facing the barre.

Our covert competition was about to begin.

The familiar routine of plies, piques, and penchés falls into place,

As I move in time with the melodic music.

By the time shiny sweat is glistening on our brows,

It is time to move to the challenging center.

Glissades and assembles are perfectly performed across the room.

But when it comes to pirouettes, the real race starts.

I dig deep with all my might, feeling strength and adrenaline flow in my bones,

As I prepare to take my dizzying dash across the mock-stage.

All eyes on me, I begin the complicated combination.

I take a step en pointe, all my weight on my tippy toes,

As I raise my back leg high into an angelic arabesque.

My body is frozen like a stunning statue for a minute or two,

Before lowering down to execute my final fascinating act.

Positioning my legs in a perfectly posed fourth position,

I take a deep breath of air through my laboring lungs,

Before rising up and bringing my leg around in a dizzying dozen pirouettes.

As I stop in the ideal ending pose, I tilt my head in acquired arrogance.

For I, Nicole Marie, am the best ballerina in class.


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