A Dancer Is Someone Who’s Dancing

A short fairytale about what’s art… and what’s a desperate attempt to be someone

„One day“, the girl resolved at yet early age, „I shall be famous and everyone shall applaud me and I shall provide for all my family.“ The girl turned to the magic oracle for ways to achieve her goal. „How does one become a dancer?“, she googled. She found an abundance of suggestions and followed a great many of them.

“A dancer sleeps in a split and works out before breakfast.“, the girl read. „A dancer is fit and slim and feeds on an assortment of vegetables“. — „A dancer is disciplined and completes 120.000 exercises every day which are constituted in the following manner (…)“

The years went by and the girl spent day and night relentlessly pursuing her dream.

When the girl came of age, her mother brought her to the city to present her steps before the king and queen, requesting permission to join the royal dancing troupe.

„No“, said the king.

The girl wept bitterly, so bitterly indeed that she began to tremble from head to foot, and she cried out to the king in a voice utterly despairing, yet almost devoid of sound. Thereupon, she was pulled into a fit of rage, crying out and weeping till her face appeared to double in size by its swelling and her eyes popped out, reminding the onlookers of a frog still waiting for its redeeming kiss. Soon, however, she lost her balance and her feet gave way as she fell to the floor in a heap. Once the girl had gathered herself from where she lay, a laugh made its way through her slender throat, and her face contorted in what appeared to be relief, yet sounded vaguely diabolical. The girl staggered from the royal chamber, giggling and weeping without transition.

„Now“, came a voice then, „now you have danced well.“ The girl turned. It was the voice of the queen. „Be gone“, she continued, „and return only when you know how you are feeling, and can voice it; when you know what food you crave, and eat it; when you know your body’s nature in its most powerful state, and you attempt at all times to let it thrive in this state; and when you know what both pure love and mortal fear feel like, and do not close the gates of your soul to either of them.“

For a moment, the girl didn’t know what to say. „But… is a dancer not fit, are they not slim, do they not feed on an assortment of vegetables?“

The queen did no longer reply.

„No“, said the king.

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