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A Chance To Dance

Rachel Newton

I was thirteen. I was also, to be politically correct, vertically challenged. And to top it all off, (let’s call a spade a spade), I was fat. Not a very winning combination for the stage, whichever way one looked at it.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

 I loved acting and singing. So whenever our school put on a production, I would enthusiastically try out for the play or the choir, but never the dance. So if a portly guard or some other role where added pounds was an asset put in an appearance that year, I got the part. If not, I was relegated to the choir. (Front row. I was too short to stand further back. But never fear. I would usually stand to the side, slightly behind the last girl to hide my extra poundage.)

But I had a little secret. I loved to dance, too. I was surprisingly light on my feet, had a great sense of rhythm, and was quick to catch on to new dancing steps at any wedding. But which dance head would ever dream of choosing someone my size to join the dance? Everyone knew it was hard enough to land a coveted spot in the dance, even if you were tall, pretty, thin, and popular. (I never managed to figure out if one became popular by being in the dance, or being popular was a requisite to join the dance.) Whatever the case may be, I was pretty much the last girl in the entire school who would get a chance to be in that year’s only dance — which would be comprised of just eight girls. So my little secret remained just that.

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