A Dance for Brittany
| Sparkles for the Ballerina
Gail watched closely as the dance instructor worked with her daughter. She wanted to learn the steps herself so she could practice with Brittany. The recital was less than a month away and Brittany would need many sessions of practice to commit the steps to memory. The little girl had to work twice as hard to get her musical pieces ready for the show. Gail didn't care how much work it took because she was Brittany's mom and her job was to help the girl be the best ballerina she could be.
Gail's ears perked up as Brittany was telling the instructor something, a petite young blonde with the patience of a saint when working with the little ones. Brittany was using the term "stupid' when apologizing for messing up a dance step.
Gail interrupted with a frown on her face. Brittany glanced at her mom and knew instantly that she was in trouble. Her mom had always told her not to use that word. Brittany replayed the often repeated lessons of her mother in her head. She always said to work wisely and practice hard. The girl shrugged her shoulders and smiled at her mom in apology. She started again to learn the steps of her dance.
Gail would talk to the girl later but for now, there was a dance to be learned. Gail knew that Brittany would want to practice all afternoon at home in her room. The repetition and exercise were good for the girl. Gail marveled at the child's commitment.
Counting the steps required for the dance with the music Gail committed it to memory for later use. Her mind drifted to Brittany's first dance class. She remembered the fight to find a studio willing to take her daughter. Gail could still feel the anger rising after five years. Gail had taken Brittany to see the Nut Cracker on stage. The child had talked about being a ballerina morning and night after that performance. The resistance of the studios she contacted for teaching a girl with Downs Syndrome the art of dance was disheartening. She finally had found the current studio "Dance Life". Brittany was never happier. Gail knew her fight so many years before had been worth it.
After class, the pair chatted on the drive home. Gail always said her daughter was definitely given the gift of gab. There were certain things that were just taken for granted when you lived in the Brittany world. Gail wouldn't change a moment of it.
Gail listened as the child prattled on about being a ballerina. She offered encouragement when the girl talked about messing up. She giggled when the girl told her all she wanted to do is sparkle when she danced. Gail did what all moms do. They help their child's dreams come to life.
Gail had been through this many times. Gail knew her daughter worried about missing a step. She worried people would laugh at her. Brittany faced that fear every day of her life. Gail was proud of her just for getting on stage. Brittany would need constant encouragement because of the person she was and the obstacles she faced. Gail wouldn't change a moment of that.
The day of the big recital dawned. Prior to Brittany's performance, Gail's job was to keep the girl calm and focused back-stage. They reviewed her steps, costumed, make-upped, and talked about where they would eat afterward in an effort kill any jitters.
The green tutu Brittany wore was decorated with green sparkles, hand-stitched by Gail.
As her name was announced momentary panic crossed the girl's face. Gail patted her shoulder gently while Brittany glided to the stage.
The music started with Brittany pointing her toes to the sky. She was a ballerina in the truest sense of the word. Joy exploded on her face as she moved to the music. It was two minutes of pure happiness regaled in the art of dance. There were no doubt missteps, but no one noticed. The audience was captured by the love of the artist. She sparkled.
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