“Number 39? You’re next”
The words echoed in her head as she took mechanical steps to the centre of the wooden floored room. Surrounded by a sea of beige on beige with dozens of deep blue eyes fixed on her. The large room shrinks with every breath. The panel of three crones already have that look, that “you stand out too much” look, that “this better be good” expression, as each darting eyes scan her. She notices a window open and feels a chilling breeze on her arms as she cocks them up and readies herself.
It’s been a terrifying drive to the auditions. Her mother has done nothing but give her praise for being brave, and sticking with Ballet for so long. Another way of saying “well done for not quitting”.
They both knew what she meant. A black woman hardly makes Ballet a profession, yet here was little brave “Miss Fatima”, all dolled up ready to face the music.
“You’re going to be fine, you’re going to be fine” she repeated.
“And a one and a two and a three…”
Her world crumbles as she sees three slumped figures, rid of excitement staring back at her, guarded by scribbled notes and apathetic pens.