The Performance
Megan. Age 13. Furlong, PA

I stand in the pitch black backstage with a flicker of lights. Nervousness then runs through my body like a rocket. I stand there, motionless… and then shaking because of these fantastic people around me. I get more nervous. And then… I am next to perform. No. No. No. I can’t watch with my bright blue eyes. I can’t listen to “Ba Ba ba de ba ba” uproar. Everything is going to bother me. I am about to have a heart attack. It’s all about the nervousness. I have stopped thinking about doing well. I lose track of my dance, my brain, my everything. My whole body slows down. Someone help me!! The person before me finishes her performance. It’s time to go out. As they call my performance number, I get jumpy and nervous again, but I start believing in myself that I can do it. The backstage manager, a tall, blonde-haired man, says it’s time. The nervousness again, runs through my body….. Like a rocket.

I enter from the wing onto the lighted stage, dancing like Misty Copeland. The pandemonium bellow of the crowd begins. I begin to perform. Kick, turn, jump, leap, tilt, body movement, whatever. It is going so well, as the sunshine is on my face. Then the big bang! Bang!—the most important part—the turn sequence. I prep into a rounded lunge about to go up, up and away. I bring my leg up slowly to whip it fast around my body and do the same thing four more fabulous times. My leg is in the air, in beauty, pointed toes, straight knees. Smiling at the audience, I begin to believe in myself. I put my knee down, slowly and careful, to make the perfect landing. I land without a sound on my knee and finish with my arms in my finishing position. With a joyful smile, I got through the hardest part. It is over. The stress and nervousness can finally disappear. Go into the wilderness and wash away in the waters. I can now finish out my routine without missing a beat. A plethora of kicks, jumps, turns, leaps, and body movements start again. As I am ending my routine, I try to finish strong. I am running out of breath for the last thirty seconds. It is over and done now. The clouds from the sky smiled at me for doing so well. Time to be calm and relax. I feel so alive, striking my ending pose. I have the feeling of relief. I am now a confident person and braver than ever before.

I walk off the lighted stage feeling proud and accomplished. I have a smile on my face as if I won something. I gave it my all and my family, friends and my dance coach are all super proud. My best friend, Emma, gives me a big hug for my doing what I love so amazingly. All hard work in life pays off if you do what you love to do. It did it for me today. I could dance all night now because I was so happy for being me. The clapping in my ears makes me feel so happy. The shouts of “Congratulations” and “Amazing job!” make me smile like a sun in the summer.

I forever live in this moment. I will forever let this go down in memory lane. My accomplishments are most important to me since all my hard work in life pays off in the end and I may end up somewhere huge. Only hope can live at this point. My life could change in just a few short years after this incredible moment. I am backstage again, walking out with claps and congratulations. I am not nervous anymore. I am brave, smart and proud of who I am.

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