Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Beautiful Dancer

Beautiful: The dance and the dancer. (Click picture for larger view) Posted by Picasa
"A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood." ~ Rachel Carson
When Nyssa was two she went to Bible School for the first time. She did crafts, heard Bible stories, had cookies and juice and played with other little children her own age. She loved it. Well, at least she loved almost all of it. Sunday morning the Bible School program was given. The children recited the Bible verses they learned and sang songs. These were songs she had sung all week at Bible School, at home and in the car. She knew them and loved them, but when she walked out on stage and saw all those people sitting in the audience, she froze. She stood at attention, didn't move, didn't sing, didn't smile, didn't do anything. When it was over she left.

Two years later we had moved from Oklahoma City to Columbus, Mississippi and she wanted to take dance. Miss Charlottes dance school had a four year old class with ballet and tap. At the end of the year there was always a recital. Each class did two numbers with costumes and pictures and trophies for all. The little ones were always so cute although never synchronized with each other. Once in a while one little girl would see that people were out of their place in line and would try to re-arrange the dancers while the dance was in progress.

I remembered her only other experience on stage and wondered how it would go. It would not have surprised me to have her stand there. This stage was not in a church, it was not a small sanctuary. This was the auditorium of the local junior high school; the stage was large with velvet curtains and a row of lighting across the front; and it was five feet above the floor of the hall. It was almost full; mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents and friends; everyone had come to watch their favorite dancer. Charlotte had classes ranging from four years of age through high school, probably 125 dancers in all levels. This was a big production in a small town and everyone turned out.

I just held my breath. She strutted out, stayed in line, tapped her toes, did her shuffle steps and SMILED! Amazing! After the second dance the little ones came and sat with their parents for the rest of the program. I leaned over to her and asked her how it felt to dance in front of so many people. She looked up with this glow on her face and whispered back in her breathy excited whisper, "It was so wonderful; it was a REAL stage!" Yes, Miss Nys, it was wonderful, you were wonderful. The dance was beautiful and even more so, the dancer.

Submission for Thursday Challenge topic "beautiful".

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