Longform

Last Dance

Page 7 of 7

"Dancers tend to be thin, it's part of the look," she says. Light expands, and the harsh stage light adds pounds.

"I know that it'll be hard mentally, because for so long you strive for what you feel is perfection. Sometimes, unfortunately, it's a little distorted. At this age, at least, I'm able to admit to that, but when you're younger you don't see it that way."

Before she came for her morning meeting, Passey-Reed had sent off a package to her mother, and in it she had placed the shoes she wore for the last dance. She included a note thanking her parents for their patience and for the rides to class, and for helping her dream her dream.

In the last line she wrote, "You have my first pointe shoes in the hope chest. Here are my last Sugar Plum Fairy shoes.

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Michael Kiefer