Page 11

84 Ribbons “Quick, quick!” Madame’s voice reminded Marta of a drill sergeant. “Spread out. Six people to a barre. We don’t have all day!” Marta wiped her damp hands on her leotard before she took hold of the cold metal barre. She shook out both legs and stood ready to begin. Why, after years of dancing, did she continue to feel nervous? “Let’s begin. First position, and one, two, three, and four.” The pianist, seated to one side of the room, shifted from background music to barre exercise music in 4/4 time. Marta kept her free arm curved, pulled her spine straight, and tucked in her derrière as she lowered into a first position demi-plié and rose. She repeated her movement, this time dropping into a grand plié before she rose onto pointe, held her relevé four counts, then lowered her body to a neutral stance. Next, she moved to a plié in second position. “Number three, you’re dropping your arm,” Madame said. “You, boy number ten, tuck your shirt into your tights. Ack! Sloppy. Pay attention, boys and girls. Remember, barre exercises are part of your evaluation.” Miss Holland had taught Marta that the trick at auditions meant dancing well without standing out. After all, corps de ballet dancers performed as background until they earned solos. Even so, Madame Cosper expected perfection. After barre exercises, the hopefuls moved to floor exercises. Marta stood between two blondes with perfect ballet bodies, perfect arms, and perfect hair. She fingered her curly mop and sucked in her bottom lip as she watched and listened to Madame’s directions. Previous ballet company judges appreciated her flowing arms, lyrical head movements, and precise footwork. Would that be enough to compensate for her difficulty remembering long sequences of choreography? Half an hour later, while the dancers rested in fifth position, Madame paced and explained the group audition piece. “We’ll teach you a waltz from Sleeping Beauty, a portion of our fall program. You’ll dance it three

3

Profile for Tendril Press

84 Ribbons  

A young dancer's realizes her life long dream, if only for a while. Seventeen year old Marta Selbryth realizes her dream of becoming a prof...

84 Ribbons  

A young dancer's realizes her life long dream, if only for a while. Seventeen year old Marta Selbryth realizes her dream of becoming a prof...

Advertisement