Hi everyone! Here is Chapter 4 of my ballet story. Enjoy!
Check out Chapter 3 here.
Download the PDF version of this chapter (no reading guide included) here.
Ember stares deeply into the reflective glass. It’s creases resemble her feelings – broken and bent.
Ember always thought that she was the best. She was always the one who got the principal roles, the soloist roles, and the featured corps de ballet roles. She got the best of the best for her age ever since she was tiny. She didn’t even have to try.
“Ember, we have to go,” says a stark voice from across the house.
“Coming,” grunts Ember in response.
She exits the bathroom to find her mother, Uri, holding her yoga mat, underneath one arm, and a leather dance bag, hooked across the other. “Company class is in 1 hour. We have to go,” says Uri, her accent thick.
“Exactly. In an hour, ma,” groans Ember.
“Which means your class starts in 45 minutes. You need to be getting to the studios earlier. You don’t get to bail out of all of the hard work just because you don’t live in the dorms.”
“How does dorm life and hard work relate to eachother?” inquires the teenager.
“You can only know when you’ve lived in a dorm,” says Uri, adding a wink. “Come on, we are going to miss our train into the city.”
Ember and Uri hop aboard the vehicle and ride into the city, seated in the front of the train car. When they arrive, the girls hop out and feel the cool air against their noses as the winter air infiltrates them. They walk up the stairs and out of the station, their shoes clicking against the cement.
As their heads bob up and above the threshold of the sidewalk, a view of Manhattan unfolds before them. The buildings pop up like giant trees compared to teeny blades of grass that represents the population of the area. The girls wander through the cobwebs of people and to the door of the National Ballet. The windowed tower sways in the wind above them it seems as they walk through the glass door, finally fitting in with the other bunheaded, foam-roller holding minions. As Uri and Ember separate, each goes up a different staircase.
In the fountained and hotel-like lobby, both staircases look equally as glamorous and identical. The only difference is that the gold-plated engraved sign above the right staircase reads, “Company” and the one on the left reads “School.” As you walk up the hard-floored, elegant staircases, the environments and aromas become very separate.
The National Ballet School Ladies’ Dressing Room
“Hello, Ember,” says Diem, situated in her usual spot in the dressing room. Each room has a large seating area in the middle, complete with a comfortable coffee table (which is typically coated in toe tape and blister remedies). Along the sides, each student’s locker has a small pull-out shelf in the middle that serves as both a divider for their space and an area to hold their materials. Each dressing room is giant, and very well-worn and well-used.
Diem offers a modest and shy smile before looking back down at her table where she has arranged her pointe shoes in a complex formation and is labeling them with a marker.
“You know where Aria is, right?” Diem says, like it isn’t a hush-hush situation.
“I do, in fact. As do you, I hope,” replies Ember.
Diem nods cautiously and then returns to her business.
The morning class on that Friday was timid and awkward, each girl having their own story to accommodate the reason that they were not chosen early for the company like Aria was.
Ember just knew that there was nothing she could do, nothing that she could do to improve herself. All she could do was hurt her competition.
- Uri – A dancer with the National Ballet Company. Ember’s mother.
- Ember’s home – Ember lives with her mother, Uri. She doesn’t stay in the dorms, as most NBS students do.
- NBS dressing room – A dressing area for the students of the National Ballet School. Dressing rooms are where dancers can get dressed, do their hair, organize their pointe shoes and other materials, stretch, and talk together.
Important things to remember:
- All of the NBS students know that Aria has been promoted to an apprentice. It is a very hush-hush topic at the school, but everybody already knows and does not appreciate the act by Cayson.
- Uri and Ember see differently when it comes to hard work. Uri worked hard despite her natural talents, whereas Ember takes them for granted.
- Ember now has an urge to hurt her competition because, “[there was] nothing that she could to to improve herself.”