This is going to hurt. That was the only thought that crossed my mind as I stumbled toward the wall. I hit the wall with a thud and am knocked off my balance. I hit the ground with another thud and muttered a quiet "Ow." Missy, my best friend, also the very person responsible for this, grabs my hand and helps me up. The dance instructor rolls her eyes and gives an exaggerated groan. "How hard? How hard is a single pirouette?" she says in her thick French accent. "I'm sorry ma'am," I grumble. "I'm really trying my best." The dance instructor rubs her temples, "Just get back in formation." she snaps. Missy takes her place in our so-called "formation" and waves me over. It's reasonable to say this whole disastrous situation is all Missy’s fault. She did, in fact, drag me to her dance studio on “Bring a Friend” night when she did, in fact, know I was very uncoordinated and hated dancing. I wanted to tell Missy I didn’t want to go, well, If I’m being honest, I wanted to tell her she was crazy and run away from the dance studio screaming, but Missy was my best friend. And being her best friend means sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone, and do things you don’t want to do. I tried to put on my best confident smile and took my place right next to Missy. The dance instructor turns on our dance music and gives us a count of eight. “Five, six, seven, eight.” The first few dance steps aren’t that bad, just a little ground-spin-tumble thing and a dance move that looks like it was torn out of High School Musical. My row ducks our heads down as the front row does a pirouette and a complicated jump. A rush of adrenaline hits me as I realize as soon as they land, it was our turn to do the impossible pirouette and crazy jump. I stumble upwards and try to spin with my foot a little off the ground. I stumbled, but I didn’t fall and tried my best to do a little jump. While Missy perfected her spin and did the jump flawlessly. I struggle to do the fast paced footwork and hand motions and ungracefully throw myself into the final pose. I look at Missy and remember I need to smile. Then nobody in our little audience will know that inside I’m really screaming in pain from the several bruises sure to be on my butt. The dance instructor looks at us and comes and corrects my arms before she decides we’re good enough. “Places on the dance floor! It’s showtime!” I look at Missy for reassurance and she gives me a quick thumbs-up and takes her place on her X on the dance floor. I take a deep breath and join her. Tonight, we learned a short little dance to perform for our parents. The studio wanted their students to bring a friend to attract their parents so they could get more people to start dancing here. Too bad I’m never ever never going to ever come here. I figured it would be fine and I wouldn’t humiliate myself too much, since I only have a small dancing part with a group while the advanced kids are doing all of their crazy cartwheel moves. For the beginning of the dance, I’m just sitting on my knees in formation while the advanced kids do their little dance and tumbling action, then my group comes forward and we do a short dance and the advanced kids join us for the end pose. I quickly walk over to my X and kneel down next to Missy. Missy squeezes my hand and whispers: “You’ll be great, Ivy. Just try not to stress, I can feel it from over here.” I give her a weak smile and watch the parents flood in. I quickly spot my mom with her snake skin purse and old T-shirt as she walks in. She waves at me and gives me a thumbs up and sits at one of the chairs. It’s not long until all of the parents are seated and our dance instructor takes the microphone and starts her welcome speech. “Welcome parents!” The dance instructor shrieks in her thick accent. “Tonight we have prepared a short show showcasing this amazing dance studio in the form of your incredibly talented children!” she beams at them. But I could swear she coughed in my direction. “Now, without further ado, I’ll give up the dance floor!” The dance instructor puts the microphone down and presses play on the speaker. The up-beat music blares and the front row of advanced dancers get up and do a complicated dance routine with lots of flipping and tumbling. It seems way too soon until it is almost my cue to start dancing. I wait for the music cue while the dance instructor mouths a count of eight. I get up to my feet and do the dance moves decently , then we get down and roll across the mat. I was at the edge of the formation, so I was closest to the sharp metal bottom of the balance beam and silently prayed I wouldn’t fall over and hit it. Soon It was time for the pirouette and the jump. I set up for the pirouette and spin the best I can. Sure enough, my land was less than graceful and my body is threatening to lose my balance. The rest of my group goes into their perfect jump. I’m still stumbling when Missy finishes her beautiful jump and accidentally lands on my foot which makes me lose my balance. I fall over with a yelp towards the balance beam and the sharp metal bottom slashes my left arm. My arm exploded in pain, but before I even tried to scream my head hit the other end of the balance beam and everything went black.
My eyes blink open to the sight of a worried mother and a tearful Missy looking at me. I sit up and they both heave a sigh of relief. Missy goes in for an aggressive hug. “I’m…so… sorry!” Missy says between sobs. She hugs me harder and I feel a sharp pain in my left arm. “Ow!” I exclaim. Missy backs away and wipes her tears. “I’m really sorry. This is all my fault!” says Missy. I touch Missy’s shoulder. “No, it’s not, and it’s ok. It’s not your fault I’m a terrible dancer.” I told her. This earns me a half smile. “Thank goodness!” My mother exclaims. “How does your head feel, Sweetheart?” My mom says, feeling my head. “I feel fine, mom.” I assure her. I look at my left arm, which is now bandaged up. The doctor comes in and walks towards my bed. “Glad to see you’re awake.” she says with a smile. “You three are all free to go. Just put some ice on that arm and you might want to schedule a doctor appointment for your head and your arm. Everything should be fine, I don’t think you have a concussion, but that arm might leave a little scar.” she informs my mom. My mother nods and leads me out of the clinic. “Are you sure you’re ok?” asks Missy. I grab her hand. “I’m sure. This was one exciting night, wasn’t it?” I say. Missy gives a weak nod and we walk hand in hand to the car. “Do you think it will leave a scar?” Missy asks. I smile. “Oh, I’m counting on it.”