The Dying Swan

The Dying Swan

A Story by texasjane

Dancing Lessons.

When I was about eight years old my parents enrolled my sister and me in ballet lessons.  This was a very brave thing for them.  We had already taken tap dancing.  I found I enjoyed music and anything to do with music.  My sister and I enjoyed playing together.  Most of the time we would end up playing on the mats by ourselves.  Then my teacher decided to separate us.

My sister was put in a class equivalent to the six-year-olds because she was six.  Imagine that.  That left me on my own to practice.  Most of the girls in my class were kind of snooty and I did not care for them as playmates.  They were kind of mean but I usually rolled with whatever happened.  Since we had moved so much, I was used to being the 'new kid on the block' and expected some upheavals until the kids realized how much fun I was.

It was during this time that I began to doubt myself.  My grandmother did not allow this type of thinking.  She said to be work towards greatness one must first realize that greatness had nothing to do with being famous.  There were seven steps to greatness, according to Grandmother.

The first was to have the willingness to ask questions.  Searching for the "w's" is always wise.  The "w's" included the Why, the What, the Where, and Which must be explored.  The next step to greatness is to be resourceful.  That means little setbacks will not stop one on their way to greatness.  This leads to the next step, which is to become a natural problem solver and to think past the obvious, and explore creative solutions.The next step is very important.  To actually achieve goals. Finishing what you start is critical to greatness.  You find yourself setting the next goal.  Persistence is important at this point because many times during the climb it is easy to give up and allow negative thinking to slow you down.  The last two steps must be done all throughout each of the other five steps.  To be blind to failure and to embrace change.  If you cannot picture yourself failing you keep going until the goal is achieved.  Greatness embraces the changes in your which helps you see horizons and set new goals.

These steps are important because I had practiced and practiced for the recital coming up for our group.  We were to perform Swan Lake.  I was selected as the Princess Odebt.  I had what is known as a perfect turnout when I pointed my feet.  My teacher seemed to get all excited when she saw this.  I had one problem during the entire practice.  The girl playing the prince was a head shorter than me.  I also had long blond hair that was braided into a bun so it would not hit her in the face when I did my turns.  She had her problems though.  The main one was her mother.  Her mother would have been happy if only her daughter was on stage.  I really hated to tell her that I was the dying swan.  On the night of the recital, everyone got a big surprise.

During the next to the last scene when the swan is supposed to throw herself into the lake my prince stomped on my toe.  It was quite painful.  I knew I would not be able to complete the last dance sequence where we come back to life and he has sworn the oath of undying love.  We are supposed to dance off together.  My partner, I really believe, was in hopes of dancing the last scene alone.  There was a break just before the last curtain went up.  I quickly ran to my locker and found the solution to the problem.  I was very quiet and determined not to be sidetracked from my goal.

The curtain came up.  The prince reached to pull the dying swan out of the lake.  There she was in all her glory.  White tutu, white crown around her princess bun, and one pair of white patent leather tap shoes.  I rose from the lake and tapped my way off stage with my partner watching with her mouth open.

The applause was huge.  No one expected a tapping ballerina.  I had no choice.  Grandmother said it was the best performance of Swan Lake she had ever seen.  When I showed the teacher what my partner had done to my toe, she understood why I had been so resourceful.  She then asked how I ended up with white tap shoes in my locker?  "Easy, I am going to give up ballet and learn tap dancing next.  Imagine what I could do if I learn what I am doing?"  Everyone laughed.

I am not saying I am destined for greatness.  I am just telling you about the time I was great at playing the part of a dying swan.

© 2022 texasjane

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Added on January 27, 2022
Last Updated on January 27, 2022
Tags: children



Hawkins, TX

I a retired Texas widow. I live alone with two dogs. I love to look for the humor in almost everything. I like to pass along a giggle when I can. Wisdom is also fun to pass along. I like to pro.. more..

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