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Hello, this is Clara. A couple of weeks ago she made a mistake that almost ruined her life. Here’s the story.
Clara is a ballet dancer. Her parents really don’t have much of an interest in any kind of art, but her grandma loves theater and ballet. So when she was about six, she found a book about classical ballet on her bookshelf. And as she was turning the pages looking at the pictures of ballerinas, she began to…fall in love. They looked so…graceful and weightless and…gorgeous! Later, her grandma showed her videos from “Swan Lake”, and that was the point of no return.
Her parents actually tried to ignore her as she started talking about ballet non-stop, but they didn’t have a chance. After about a month, she had an audition with a ballet teacher…and she told her that she had no future, that she was too “heavy.” That turned out not to be true, but she cried through the whole of the next day, and her parents took her to a bigger ballet school that’s like, super hard to get in to. The teachers took one look at her and they said that she was born to become a ballerina. But she had to wait a couple of years, since they only accepted girls who were eight or older.
And her parents were really happy about that, because they were sure that she’d forget about ballet within a couple of months. But they couldn’t have been more wrong. Every week she became more and more obsessed with ballet. Millions and millions of fouettes were practiced in front of the mirror in their living room.
And so, of course, Clara spent her eighth birthday applying to ballet school. And they said yes!
And that's when it all began. Classes almost everyday, teachers with perfect posture, and so much to learn.
She’s fifteen now, and her last seven years have all been about ballet. At the age of 12, she started living in the school dorm Monday through Friday, since the school is about an hour and a half by car from her hometown.
Okay...she’s probably gotten a little deeper into the details here than was necessary. Anyway, by now she had already performed at a lot of shows and ballet competitions. And, of course, she started in corps-de-ballet, which means shewas dancing as a part of the ensemble, and the girls who were a little older played the parts of principal dancers – or, as their teachers like to call them “prima ballerinas.” And she had been patiently waiting for her chance to be one.
And it finally happened about six months ago.
The big piece for the new semester was Tchaikovsky’s “Sleeping Beauty.” And you know what? Clara was chosen to be the prima ballerina. She was SO happy. And of course, she started practicing two or even three times as much as sheused to. They all knew that in December one of the most prestigious ballet contests would take place, and that their school usually participated in it.
A few weeks later, her teacher announced that they really WERE taking part in the contest with their “Sleeping Beauty” piece. Which meant…yes, you guessed right – that Clara was going be the principal dancer. All this was happening at the same time… it was just like a dream come true. She couldn't even stop to think about what kind of opportunities this would create for her.
So every year, all of the girls that take part in the performance together with some of the teachers travel to the city where the contest takes place by train. And Clara was totally fine with that; she loves trains.
So she and her mom started packing her stuff a week before departure, being careful not to forget anything, and also – to be ready for anything that might happen. Basically, she took so much stuff with her that if her leg fell off five minutes before the show, she'd have figured out what to do.
The train departed at 9 am, and the night before the trip she couldn’t get to asleep. She was replaying all of the possible scenarios over and over again in her head, and she was so excited and scared at the same time that she didn’t really close her eyes until 5 am, which meant she only slept for about an hour – and it certainly wasn’t a peaceful form of sleep at all.
Then she woke up feeling really weird. Her dad took her to the station and wished her luck; they all gathered in a station hall, and they had about an hour until their train was due to leave.
So some of the girls went to buy snacks, some were just chatting; but Clara didn’t really want to talk to anyone since she felt terrible thanks to her sleepless night. She just wanted to concentrate and listen to the music she was supposed to perform to that evening. It must have been the millionth time she listened to it.
To know more about Clara and her situation watch this video to the end!
Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com