Lacy forced herself to control her breath, in, hold, out, in, hold, out. Her body tense with anticipation, waiting, waiting, waiting for the music to start. The sound of shuffling papers and whispering drifted across the room to where she held herself motionless. Before her mind had registered the sound, her body responded, her left shoulder rolling elegantly in a backwards circular movement, her arm and hand picked up the motion and the rest of her body began to flow with it, responding to the music, muscle memory taking over as she lost herself.
Suddenly the music stopped, she almost stumbled as the surge of movement ceased, but recovered quickly, placing her feet carefully, precisely together. It hadn’t been long enough. They hadn’t seen the full piece, which meant, once again, she wasn’t going to be selected. Her heart settled more deeply into the well worn hole in her chest. Why didn’t they ever choose her? All she had ever wanted to do was dance, but no one ever wanted her to. Not even her parents. No one ever seemed to let her finish, she knew it wasn’t her skill, she knew she was good, technically she was the best in her classes, yet somehow, everyone else managed to get through the auditions, get into companies and onto the stage, everyone except her.
“Breath.” She told herself. “In, hold, out.” It was either that or cry and she wouldn’t cry, not here, not where someone could see her. That would have to wait. As quickly and quietly as she could, Lacy walked to the stereo to retrieve her music and bag. “Ten steps to the door, five minutes to the bus station, the bus comes every ten minutes, twenty minute ride home, ten minute walk, sixteen stairs to the door and then I can cry. Just hold on till then.” She told herself.
While her thoughts were focussing on the path home, Lacy almost missed the voice calling her name.
“Lacy. Sorry to cut you off before you had finished. It’s been a long morning, we hope you understand.” She nodded silently at the speaker, a slim brunette with large, square, red rimmed glasses.
“We’d like you to come back this afternoon please. The directer, producer and the choreographer will be here.” Lacy’s heart went from darkness to glowing in an instant, like a fire doused in petrol. They wanted her to come back? They wanted others to see her dance. Important others.
“And Lacy,” the grinning, balding man beside the brunette added, “we would like to put you forward to audition for the hand maiden, it’s a supporting lead. It means you’d also be the understudy for the role of the Queen.” His grin was infectious. Lacy couldn’t help but glow with pride. She didn’t have the role yet, but they wanted her. This group of people had faith in her, had enjoyed watching her dance. Her parents were wrong, she could make it as a dancer.