Being a Dancer

Helka Ondok

No one mentions how hard it is to be a dancer.

The pointe shoes break your feet, the tight bun messes up your hair. You are never slim enough, you are never good enough.

Your coach is never satisfied, even if every little part of your body hurts at the end of the day.

The constant need for approval, the stress for validation that will never come.

– Stand up straighter!

– Have you learned nothing?

– You are too slow.

– Do it again until you can do it right.

You are expected to leave your tears and your pain when you go up on the stage.

You sit in front of your mirror, crying because you don’t think you will ever be good enough.

But, when it is time to perform, and you can hear the click of the speaker, for a moment it is all worth it.

Because you move your body with the flow of the music, and your head clears.

When you hear the sweet melodies of a song you heard many times before, all your thoughts disappear.

And for a moment, I swear you get lost in the dance, the movements you’ve done plenty of times before, and you will do them again and again until they are perfect.

Being a dancer is hard. But it is all worth it, because when the music starts playing, none of your problems matter.