a doctor who diagnoses and treats diseases of the eye
ophthalmologist spent a lot of time chatting with us, asking about school and ballet, but I wanted her to hurry that day.
a playful, attention-getting act done for fun and amusement
Mom would complain, but Dad just laughed at his
reject outright and bluntly
They never stopped loving me, even when I
rebuffed their affection.
suggesting or suitable for an artistic composition
When we went to visit it, I spotted a
picturesque library standing close to Williston Central School.
have an ambitious plan or a lofty goal
That would be a wonderful height if I
aspired to become a prima ballerina, but it wasn’t tall enough if I wanted to become an Olympic swimmer.
an acute but unspecific feeling of anxiety
Looking back on this, I realize that this was all typical middle school
angst, but I was just a typical middle school kid, so I was acting like one.
inexpensive supervised lodging
When I arrived at the youth
hostel where the Dance Theatre of Harlem summer intensive students stayed, I discovered that I had seven roommates and one counselor in my room.
most frequent or common
I had never danced in a class of
predominant black dancers before.
impressive in appearance
He was an
imposing figure with a booming voice and strong presence, which made him look much taller than he really was.
a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude
He then showed me some tiny
nuances: a lift of my chin, a tilt of my shoulders, a flex of my wrist, and a brisk stomp of energy in my feet as I stepped flirtatiously in my pointe shoes.
quick and energetic
He then showed me some tiny nuances: a lift of my chin, a tilt of my shoulders, a flex of my wrist, and a
brisk stomp of energy in my feet as I stepped flirtatiously in my pointe shoes.
conjoined contradictory terms
I was the first student from the Rock School ever to compete in the Pre-Competitive Division, a name that is truly an
oxymoron if there ever was one, because I soon learned that this youngest division was extremely competitive.
(ballet) a solo dance or dance figure
The other dance needed to be a
variation from a classical ballet.
a standard or typical example
In my eyes she was the
epitome of a Russian ballet dancer: tall, slender, elegant, and graceful.
a fine fabric net used for veils, tutus, or gowns
That evening, when she picked me up, I found bags of puffy white
tulle and trimming on the backseat.
having a play of lustrous rainbow colors
In one of the bags I discovered pale gold organza with
iridescent gold sequined designs.
required by rule
Then I felt jittery with worry because the Rock School had held a
compulsory meeting for the YAGP participants, and I had barely enough time to get to the YAGP venue afterward.
the scene of any event or action
Then I felt jittery with worry because the Rock School had held a compulsory meeting for the YAGP participants, and I had barely enough time to get to the YAGP
great skill, imagination, or creative ability
“Oh, Michaela, that role requires not only adult
artistry, but a lifetime of heartbreak,” she answered with a gentle smile.
part of a dress above the waist
Mariel got a grip on the
bodice of the tutu and squeezed the excess water out of it.
causing extreme distress
It was a
harrowing drive, and my mom tripped in the hotel, hurting her shoulder, but we made it on time, where I was quickly swept up in the events of the day.
thick expensive material with a raised pattern
My mother had sewn a beautiful scarlet-and-gold
brocade and gauze costume, trimmed in multicolored crystals.
the leader of an Arab village or family
Instead I was dancing in a
sheik’s tent, swaying along with the silk hangings blown by the wind.
not dense or plentiful
It brings its ballets to small towns and
sparsely populated areas of Massachusetts, upstate New York, Vermont, and Canada, where the residents would rarely, if ever, have the opportunity to see professional ballet without the ABB.
a sum of money allotted on a regular basis
I danced with all of my heart, loving every second of my role as a Flower, and to my complete delight I was offered the chance to join the company on tour and even earn a small
uneasiness about the fitness of an action
But despite my
misgivings about being away from home, I was so proud and honored to be offered this opportunity that I didn’t consider refusing.
the position of one working for an expert to learn a trade
I was getting more and more nervous as my
apprenticeship with the ABB approached.
an organization of performers and associated personnel
He might have been right about that, but I had to take this chance to tour with a professional ballet
spreading out in different directions
As soon as we walked into the old,
rambling, three-story Victorian house, we were greeted by an enormous German shepherd.
in a hesitant manner
“Nice boy. Good boy,” I said softly, and
tentatively reached my hand out to pet the dog, which was larger than me.
a ghostly appearing figure
I dreaded getting up to go to the bathroom at night, fearful of running into a shadowy
specter in the hallway.
an actor able to replace a regular performer when required
So I became the
understudy to the men in the Trepak (or Russian) dance, which caused me to feel like a pronghorn antelope as I leaped high into the air.
having an illustrious reputation; respected
I asked, because ABT has several locations, the most
prestigious of which—in the eyes of young ballerinas—is New York City.
moving quickly and lightly
The Firebird requires quick and
nimble movements, as well as precise ports de bras that imitate the flutter of a bird’s wings.
exultantly proud and joyful; in high spirits
My pirate was then so
elated about having the treasure to herself that she danced all over the stage, leaping over the chest and Mia’s pirate.
good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries
It was pure
serendipity that the furnished apartment that Mom rented had a piano sitting in the middle of the living room.
teach and impress by frequent repetitions or admonitions
instilled a sense of corps de ballet in us, and expected us to be civil, courteous, and humble toward each other.
marked by meekness or modesty; not arrogant or prideful
The program instilled a sense of corps de ballet in us, and expected us to be civil, courteous, and
humble toward each other.
repair a garment by weaving thread across a hole
darned the tips of the boxes.
the quality of affording easy familiarity and sociability
So I felt an awareness and sense of
camaraderie that I hadn’t known before.