VOTY 2014 Submission - The Idol.

4 years ago

Dance classes began,

When I was four years old.

My sister and I,

Both took lessons.

We continued the lessons,

Right into high school.

The classes evolved,

Into so much more.


From the basement of a house.

Enrollment grew.

A dance studio was born.


One class turned into

Several classes a week.

Tap, jazz, ballet,

Demi-character and baton.

Several competitions a year. 

Many costumes

For each of our ‘numbers.’


Mom started working

For the studio. 

Although, we didn’t know it,

She needed to offset the costs,

Of our classes.


We spent every weekend,

At the studio.

Thursday and Friday evenings, too.

Our dance teacher and husband

Became friends with our parents.

Their children became our friends.

We were together constantly.


These were great years.

I loved dance.

I loved performing.

My room was full of medals and certificates. 

Dance was my whole life.


As I grew older,

My dance teacher’s daughter

Began to teach too.


She was so beautiful. 

Miss Dawn.

And when she danced...

She was a vision.

I wanted to be her.

I could watch her,

Dance all day. 


It was an adjustment,

Addressing her,

As a teacher.

I was thrilled,

To be with her,

More often.


I worked very hard

In her class.

Her expectations

Were high.

I worked harder.

I was always,

The lead.

A position,

I had to earn.

I watched her

Be lead for years.

On the top

Of my game,

Life couldn’t,

Be any better.


Each summer break

Left me missing dance.

The days were counted down

For return to class.

September, could never come

Fast enough for me. 


The fall,

Of my fifteenth birthday,

I happily returned,

To dance, for another year.

Something had changed.

Miss Dawn was...



Something was amiss.

I was nervous.


In class, one day,

I messed up

On a dance sequence.

We were all struggling.

Miss Dawn was angry.

She gave the lead,

To someone else.


I was shattered.

My classmates,

Were stunned. 

They didn’t know

What to do. 

They knew,

I was embarrassed.


A competition

Was fast approaching.

We were in rehearsals

For hours each day.

One number,


Was particularly difficult.


We were each to wear

A different colour costume.

Blues, greens, reds, orange...

I was in yellow.

I was the lead. 


Miss Dawn had us stand

In our costumes in line.

She looked us over

Like a general to his troops.

She walked up and down

The row of us.

She stopped at me.

She looked me up and down.


It was unnerving.

None of us understood

What was happening.

Miss Dawn was not happy.

Someone would pay.


She went back to her spot

In front of the class.

She told me

To step forward.

I did.

She demanded

I tell her

How much I weighed.

I started.

‘Do it!’ she yelled.

I did not know

The answer.

Miss Dawn,

Did not like that.

She left the room.

She returned with a set of scales.

I was directed to use them.

Tears of humiliation,

Burned the back of my eyes.

I could barely contain them.

I knew not to let those tears fall.

Miss Dawn told me,

To tell the class

What the scales read. 


I did.

‘Louder,’ she yelled.

I did. 


There wasn’t a sound

In the room. 

These were my friends. 

They admired me,

And my ability to be lead. 

They had never seen me

In trouble from Miss Dawn. 

Sadly, I had seen some of them

Be the brunt

Of Miss Dawn’s anger.


Miss Dawn let the silence live

For what seemed like eternity.

Then she said,

calmly, quietly and to me directly,

“If you do not lose ten pounds


You are out of this number.”

We were dismissed. 


My childhood idol

Died that day.

She literally broke my heart.

She violated my trust

By scaring me.

She violated my crush

By being cruel.

She violated my dream

Of being her...

I could never

Treat anyone that way. 

That was my last year

Of dance.

I did not return

The following year.


I went from being

The top of my class,

The best of my peers,

Feeling confident,

And talented...

To feeling fat,


And rejected. 


A child,

Should never,

Be made to feel this way,



Their idol.


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