My friend Laura Rogers wrote and read this poem at the West Hollywood Book Fair this weekend. I asked her if she would let me share it with all of you and she graciously said yes.
I put on my pointe shoes and tied the ribbons around my ankles. The well-known pressure formed around my toes as I stood and adjusted my skirt. Moving towards the bar, the box of my shoes made a familiar tapping sound on the mahogany dance floor. I placed my hand on the smooth, curved wood of the practice bar, and I was home.
I relevéd, and the stretch in my calves brought on a rush of adrenalin. I couped, frappéd, pas de bourréed: I danced. Stretching my arms over my head in fifth position, I let my fingers form into the soft graceful hand of a ballerina.
I walked into the middle of the room and faced the mirror that was so often my audience. I prepped for a pirouette and then pushed off. When I turn I am a whirlwind, and I sweep away the negative thoughts of the outside world. When I leap I fly and leave everything below me. When I am en pointe I am a giant and nobody can touch me. I am a ballerina, and this is what I do, for this is who I am.
Thank you so much for sharing this, Laura!