Sophie was standing among other little girls and boys and they were all awaiting for the dance instructor to come in. Parents were fussing with hair and dresses, and shirts, making sure that their child stood out in the crowd and was noticed by the teacher.
The teacher walked in, breezing by the children, paying no notice to any particular child, heading straight to the parents and saying only once, that all parents needed to remove themselves from the floor and take their places in the seats to the back. One by one, each parent left, but not before whispering in their child’s ear, to smile and do their best. In no time at all, the only ones standing were the students and one teacher.
Dahlia looked out over the class and saw some with fingers in their mouths, others acted like they ants in their pants, and couldn’t stand still. Others were seen with tears in their eyes, and one had to use the restroom. She made a sigh and thought to herself what a mess. It was going to take much work to get these children in line.
She cleared her throat, and tapped a wand on the table sitting before her, drawing all eyes upon her. Tears were stopped, and hands were lowered. She asked them to all have a seat on the floor, and the direct order was played out.
Dahlia was an old-time teacher of dance. She had been brought up by two very strict parents. Both of her parents had been in the military, and her home life had been of military style. Rules were made, and not to be broken. If they were, there was a strict punishment to be followed.
Her family moved several times during her life at home, and she never made the attachment of having close friends, like other children did. Dahlia had a bicycle, but was not allowed to ride it anywhere other than the yard. Some days you could almost see the yearning in her eyes, as other children rode by, and she was not allowed to go also.
There was too much to be done to waste time with day dreaming, so playing with dolls was being idle. Dahlia had one doll that she called her own. It was a stiff doll, that would not bend, and refused to be loved and cuddled. It had dark curly hair and blue eyes, and a few freckles on her nose. With stiff posture, Dahlia would imagine the doll dancing and would take her by the head and spin her around and around. She would raise the doll’s arms in the air, to twirl like a ballerina.
Dahlia was allowed play time only when all chores were done. She had to help hang the washing on the line outside of the kitchen window. She helped to wash windows, and scrub the floors. One of her earliest things she was taught, was to cook. She could make biscuits and cook up a fryer chicken. She could even make a great cherry pie, but during these times of training, her mind would drift to her doll and the ballerina she had created.
When Dahlia was sweeping the floor, she would twirl around the broomstick, using it as a way to balance in order to try to stand on her toes. She would try making jumps in the air, mimicking the dancers she watched on her parents black and white television.
Each Saturday night, her parents would tune in one of the three channels they received, and watch a program that was a variety of singers and dancers. If Dahlia had been good that day, she was sometimes allowed to stay up to watch this, as long as she remained quiet and sitting in one spot. She glued her eyes to the dancers and memorized the steps they each took, and envisioned herself doing this also. Her heart would skip beats as she admired the beautiful clothes they wore, and promised herself that one day she would have such beautiful clothes also.
As Dahlia became a teenager, there was more opportunities to read, as the older children were able to enter the school library. She always made sure that she was one of the ones chosen to be able to go browse through the books on library day. She would spend her time gazing at all the titles, and then when it was about time to leave she would pick out one special book and rent it for the week.
Dahlia did well enough in school, her grades always up to par, but as she matured, she knew with no uncertainty, that she wanted to be a dancer. She made this known to her teacher one day, and the teacher said that if she wanted something bad enough in her life, she should work for it and then obtain it. Dahlia asked the teacher for her help in reaching her goal, and the teacher’s response was positive. She explained to her that the most important thing for the next three years of school was her grades. She explained how any college that taught arts would first look at this.
Dahlia knew she had good grades, but what the teacher impressed on her, was that she needed excellent grades. She was also impressed with the idea of no missing school, adding some subjects to her lessons learned, and to open her mind to the opportunities of the world. Each thing the teacher said, Dahlia’s sponge took in, and she became a determined student.