A Real Ballerina

Today, I was given a sweet reminder… a reminder to never take anything for granted.

As I was preparing to take ballet class today, I had put absolutely no thought into the fact that I had been able to walk to class and had the ability to put one leg up on the barre and stretch. Just as I was beginning to complain about my soreness, a lady rolls in the room in her wheelchair…dressed and ready for ballet class. My immediate thought was, “Why is she here, and how in the world is she going to do this?” She parked her wheelchair right next to me and all I could think about was the fact that she was blocking my mirror space and if I was going to have room for my long legs. But in the next instance, as we prepared for plies, my world was rocked for a second. Never once did I think that the most beautiful plie combination would come from a woman in a wheelchair. She had obviously been paralyzed from the waist down, considering her lower half was not moving at all, but her arms and facial expressions were drop dead gorgeous. As she closed her eyes, it was as though she was reliving her dancing career and pretending that she was dancing on two legs… not in a wheelchair. Her smile brought tears to my eyes as she did every single combination like there was no one else in the room. At times I even found myself watching her to make sure I knew the combination myself. Although I knew absolutely nothing about this lady, not even her name, there was definitely something special about her. She did not let her circumstances defeat her, but she overcame them. While I was complaining about sweating too much, she seemed to forget that she was even in a wheelchair. I had no clue that I was going to be taking class next to a lady in a wheelchair, but what a sweet moment it was. Today I walked out of class not just with a sweaty leotard and tired feet, but with a new perspective and a greater appreciation for my own two legs. Thank you to the lady in the wheelchair, whoever you are, for your dedication and sweet spirit that came flowing out of you today. Beauty does come from within… it does indeed. I have no idea what her story may be, but she told a beautiful one today. I am thankful for moments like these… thank you Jesus for the sweet reminder.

Oh, and I also got to take class next to Daniel Baker, from Season 9 of “So You Think You Can Dance”… so that was kind of fun 🙂

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One thought on “A Real Ballerina

  1. Riley, your mom told mom and I about this experience you had while cutting our hair yesterday! As I’m sure you know, I attended Camp S.M.I.L.E. for many years. S.M.I.L.E. stands for Special Meaning In Life’s Experience, and I would say this was yours!

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