Bryn Gallagher: Keep sight of hope

Bryn Gallagher

I spent a lot of time in the wings of the theater last week. That’s not abnormal, it was the week before the spring performance, which means the theater becomes a second home.

At first, the theater is magical. There’s something about the stage, and the lights, and even the weird old theather funk that’s enticing. But, eventually even that gets old and tired, and the stage loses a little luster. At some point, it becomes far too easy to slip into the steps and forget the magic of the stage.

But, last week I was schooled once again by a baby ballerina; a level one this time.

She is seven years old and so lanky that she doesn’t even fill out her tights. If she lacks one thing in her seven-year-old self, it’s coordination. You would think that fact alone would make the stage less enjoyable, but not for her. She was one of the bluebirds and she flew, she fluttered, and she flailed.

Her technique was horrible, her toes didn’t point, and she was out of line, but none of that mattered. She exuded joy. She was on that stage living life to the fullest and loving every minute of it. Her dancing had every detail of fun from the day-glow smile that stretched from ear to ear to the sneaky thumbs-up she gave to the other dancers.

All of the sudden, the flailing arms and flexed feet didn’t matter anymore. All that mattered was that she was having fun. The stage, the lights, the soft velvet curtains, and even the cold back hallway and the weird theater funk was magic once again. That is inspiring, that is dance, and I truly believe, that is art. 

This can be taken past the theater, though, past her, and even past ballet. That little baby bluebird might just have the key to life, that is, loving it. I hope she never loses that passion, the kind that allows her to stand out there and simply dance for the sake of dancing. I hope she can remember it, the magic of performing.

I suppose what to take from this story is this: life is hard, life often sucks, and sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of what you love. Don’t let yourself do that. Go out there, keep your dancing shoes on, and flail to your heart’s content. Life is full of sparkling lights and fancy sets and even if sometimes it seems dark, life if full of wonder. Keep sight of your joy.

What do you think?