The Ballerina

I was sitting outside a coffee shop this afternoon, when the radio started playing a beautiful song. My mind searched for the name of it and then suddenly I remembered.

“Memory” from the Andrew Lolyd Webber musical, Cats.

It’s a song that has a hold on my heart.

When I was 10 years old, I was sure I was going to grow up to be a famous ballerina.

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I practiced several times a week until my feet were blistered and sore. From the age of 7, I learned all the positions, jumps, and correct French vernacular. I spent many years in the chorus; my parents zooming in on the old video camera to catch a glimpse as I trotted quickly across the stage.

And then…finally, I was given my first big stage role. I was chosen to be the white cat in our school production of Cats: The Musical.

I know it didn’t seem like much to everyone else, after all I only had one starring moment.

But as soon as I heard the music, and I learned the elegant steps, it was like I was transformed into the beautiful white cat, dancing in the sun.

Sitting here today outside the coffee shop, I closed my eyes as the notes play. I lift my face to the sun and for a moment, I felt like I was back on that stage, dancing in my soft ballet slippers. Sweeping my feet across the dusty stage, and stretching my arms up high.

“All alone with the memory
Of my days in the sun
If you touch me
You’ll understand what happiness is.
Look
A new day has begun.”

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