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The Burn of Stage Lights

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You stand on the sidewalk taking it all in. It’s an hour drive every day but totally worth it. You took some summer lessons here last year and came to the realization you sucked at ballet and the school you were at had not prepared you even with proper basics. But you were determined to improve at ballet, because it is your passion. So here you are. You find your way up the winding steps only to find they had changed rooms since last summer. You look around for another dancer to ask, looking in studio windows trying to find an ongoing practice. Then you notice from the stairwell, a boy doing leaps in one of the rooms. You used to be the shy type but got over that a while back, so you make your way to the room and knock on the glass. He turns around and some of that middle school shyness is creeping back up. It’s the most flawless god of a dancer you’ve ever known to exist, and he’s walking towards the door to talk. You compose yourself and meet him in the doorway. The hall is empty and quiet, suddenly an atmosphere you aren’t quite as fond of.
“Hey I’m looking for the intermediate adult class, it wasn’t in the room that was stated and I’m kind of lost now.” You say.
“Oh yeah, they moved that to tomorrow because the director had something come up.” He says.
You wondered why he knew, as you knew he was not from this school of dance. He’s normally, ya know, in Russia. He smiles and starts talking again before you can bring this up.
“Yeah I was supposed to be the guest teacher tonight, I’m on decided to take summer off from training and pass on some of my wisdom.” He laughs after saying this so you join in with a giggle.
You decide to play coy.
“So, where do you normally dance, I didn’t see you here last summer.”
“Oh I normally dance in Russia with the Mikhailovsky Ballet Academy, but I’ve been considering moving back to the states.” He says. You both discuss your ballet upbringings, his glorious and yours tragic, and he must have pitied you because he leads you back in the room to help you with correcting your knowledge of some very basic steps. He finds out you have little grasp over the terms of ballet, other than what a 5 year old would know, but you have potential even this late in life. His hands on your waist helping you leap feels like a dream. But then you have to leave. Time floated by. It’s 8:00 pm already and you just want to stay with him forever. He’s so perfect and charming. His laugh is as beautiful as the music you dance to, and his smile just brings up thoughts of him on stage. His sigh catches your attention. “Is it really this late?” He mumbles to himself. He gathers his stuff and you do the same, expecting a wave goodbye as you head for the door. He does you one better. He lightly touches your arm and asks for your number, and then if you knew any good places to eat nearby. You do so you both head over in your car. You both converse lightly in the restaurant, speaking of school and music and where he was staying. You find out he’s rented a lovely apartment by the arts center for the summer. The conversation deepens on the way to his place, and he invites you up to hear a new record he has bought. You are normally wary, but you already texted a few friends where you are (and texted your mom you were staying late for a lesson). Things turn out to be very chill, and after hearing the music he wanted to show you, you left and headed home. You and Julian made plans to practice some and get dinner again after your class tomorrow. You were giddy the whole drive home.