I’m Not Broken

Silk ribbons twirled along the hardwood floor, fraying at the edges, blistering as they hit an uneven screw.

Beth tied her hair tightly. Her ankle felt like it was held by a single screw as she tried to flex it. Class started in the new studio, her teacher called out counts overhead while Beth snuck in the side. They practiced. Class ended. Beth got up and left. She returned the same way for weeks, like watching class was a way to keep her technique in her brain, that she could hold onto all her hard work.

Her muscles tightened as she balanced on one leg, her weight for the first time made her uncomfortable, made her nervous. It felt like hot irons were running down her shins, she hoped no one would notice her using the wrong muscles. She turned, she danced, but it was different, it wasn’t like before. Her body was half a second behind, it was different, it was weird, she wasn’t herself, dance was where she was herself.

That night she listened to the same song she broke her foot to. The same rhythm, the same building tempo and she found a new way to dance, her new normal. She couldn’t go back to how she was, for she had changed and then made the decision to change again and so Beth’s dance went on forever changing.

~ Written by Stephanie Kentepozidis

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