The following is by Writers in the Grove member, Lorelle VanFossen, and is based upon the Prompt-a-Month: Dance.
Toe pointed. Leg elongated. Feel the burn through the calf muscles as they push the reach even further. Thigh muscles combine to lift and stretch the leg beyond the normal range, a straight arrow pointed toward the floor away from the body, toe not touching, every line straight and arched in all the right places as if coaxing the toe longer a little more. Just a little more. Reach, strain, stretch, push, tighten, balance, yet relax. Don’t let them see the pain. Head tilted down at an angle, shoulders pulled back, arms thrust forward reaching but hesitating, palms up, thumbs wide, fingers closed, curled, begging. The other leg bent, knee aligned in the direction of the other, heel down, glued to the floor, a stable foundation. An illusion of stability. A brush of wind would knock her over. A forward step paused in mid motion. Make it look effortless. Make it look like it is a gentle yearning, a pleading with the body to take just one tiny step in that direction, ahead but holding back, cautious. It is a dangerous step. One that leads to another, and another, and another step forward into the unknown.
Elaina kept this position for as long as she could, keeping the tension in her body in a tug of war between relaxed and tight, straining with the effort. She didn’t hear the clock ticking in the hall, the purring of the cat wandering nearby, nor the roar of cars outside the door on the street. She heard pain, a sweet familiar pain, ringing through her body, buzzing in her ears, knocking against her heart begging her for release. She felt the warmth of a spotlight against her closed eyes, the moment frozen, ready to burst out onto the stage with the unheard embrace of the music’s thrust.
She ignored the fact that it was only the morning sun through the front window peaking through the pale blue curtains. Through the rushing noise of the passing cars, she heard the gasp of an audience at her entrance, one step, then frozen in this pose, waiting for the music to queue that next step, but held, anticipating the moment she would take that next move, ablaze in feathers, sequins, and chiffon, disguised as a worn-out house dress.
When her body could no longer hold the moment, the audience straining with her now, feeling the tension, breathing with her, on the edge of their seats, she took that step forward, placing her right foot on the carpeted floor, pushing herself forward over the toe, leaning down and up into the move, her body straightened, head up, arms lifted higher, her other leg straight out behind her at a point. She held this for thirty seconds, allowing the clanging to quiet in her head, the body now in a more stable, relaxed state.
Her cat wandered by and wound around her standing ankle. Elaina opened her eyes and looked down into those wide golden eyes framed with soft gray hair. The cat meowed, the open mouth turning into a yawn with a whining sound as she completed another rotation then headed off toward the kitchen where she knew food would soon appear. (more…)