Don't ever stop dreaming of having your name in lights and performing on Broadway. One day you may grow out of the sparkly tutu and pink tights, but the passion that was sparked through years of dance will always remain in your heart. Cherish those long, endless nights in the studio. Cherish those black and blue bruises that cover your legs from falling one too many times. Cherish your dance teacher yelling, "One more time," while she holds up five fingers.
Being a dancer is more than pretty costumes and graceful ballet routines. Being a dancer is painful -- your feet will bleed, your back will ache and your body will always be tired. Being a dancer means you are strong, mentally and physically. It means that you understand what commitment is, and it teaches you disicipline. Dance allows you to express your emotions freely, and it shows you how to make others understand what you are feeling.
Remember what it feels like to be on stage with hundreds of people watching, while you pray you don't mess up. Remember the first time you fell on stage and walked off in tears as the curtain closed, but don't forget that it happens to everyone. Think about the "big" girls that you admire, about how amazing they are -- you'll be one of them soon enough.
Don't forget the feeling of excitement right before a big performance; that feeling will always be there before every show, no matter how long you've been at it. Remember the first time you cried during a performance because the dance meant that much to you. It's a beautiful moment to truly understand the emotion you are conveying to the audience. Cherish your company because they've seen you at your worst and still want you to succeed.
Laugh about the hideous costume that reminds you of a Gothic barbie, and reminisce over your first pair of pointe shoes, even though you could barely stand in them. Remember all the tights and bobby pins that didn't make it through the hectic recital weekend.
Dance teaches you sacrifice; say goodbye to Friday night lights and hello to Friday night practices. It can be annoying, but one day you will yearn for one more weekend practice. Your team will become your family; they'll love and support you unconditionally. One day, you'll say your last pre-show prayer, and realize how hard it will be to let your family go.
Remember to thank your parents. Thank them for long drives to competitions, hours of applying fake eyelashes and gluing your eyes shut in the process, and for flowers after every recital. Thank your brothers too. They suffered through hours of watching pretty girls on stage for you. Hug your dance teachers and be sure they realize how important they are to you. After all, you wouldn't be where you are without them.
As the lights fade for the last time, don't be afraid to let the tears flow. Dance will always be a part of you, even if it's the end of your recitals and weekend competitions. The glitz and the glamour will always be there, calling you back to the stage, so be sure to visit it sometimes.
One Of The "Big" Girls