Hard to Escape Chapter 27

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Candle: Phew finally got the bulk of my tests done with! Although by the time this releases I will have finished my last final. Thank G.o.d for our stockpile!! Will have to build it back up but I'll have much more free time now at least ^^

This is a full chapter cause it's a shorty. (Can you believe it's shorter than chapter 26 part 2 ._.) Please excuse any mistakes about how ballet works…. Creative license, that's right, creative license!!

I finally got to put on a leotard. But matters were far from progressing smoothly.

My teacher was apparently the languid woman from the registration counter. Her name was Wu Ke.

She shot me a glance. "I haven't taught the basics in a long time." She turned around and started playing a recording of a piece by Tchaikovsky. "If you can't perform to my standard or if you feel I'm too strict, you can request a different teacher. As for now, watch me and copy my movements. Get a feel for it."

Her att.i.tude was always very indifferent, and equally as cold. However, when she stood upright, with her back facing towards me and a hand on the rail, and began to move, she transformed. As cold and indifferent she was before, she was now just as refined and focused. It was like she was a whole new person. She was no longer that ordinary woman. Every lift of her hand and stretch of her feet was dazzling.

As I faced the mirror, I strived to mimic her. She would turn around to correct my hand placement and hand shape, or mistakes in my posture.

"Your feet! How many times have I said it! You have to turn out for a turnout! Lower your shoulders and draw out circles with your leg while remaining in place. No good! Your turnout isn't large enough! And your feet don't have enough strength!"

The hand movements were easy to learn. However, the foot movements were also an important essence of ballet. Yet every little thing was difficult for me to do. The car accident made my legs weak. Merely practicing like this for one morning made me feel like they couldn't support my body anymore.

"Are you a pig? Why can't you do even do a simple turnout properly?! How could you even dream of learning ballet like this? I've never seen a student as idiotic as you!" Wu Ke indeed wasn't a teacher with a good temper. When she started teaching, she was no longer that even-tempered, languid person. Instead, she was quickly and easily angered.

For a whole week I continued mechanically practicing those basic steps. Meanwhile the eyes with which Wu Ke looked at me seemed to become increasingly impatient. Even as she corrected my movements, her mocking and scolding grew more and more frequent.

"With your sort of 'talent', forget about going en pointe for the rest of your life! Not to mention, the scars on your legs are a defect that no stage can tolerate. With all these, forget about performing on stage. Especially with how stupid you are!"

"It's best that you just stop dancing. I'll refund your money. Consider this as me begging you."

Her mocking words became even more hurtful to hear. But I just gritted my teeth and turned a deaf ear to it. I continued practicing facing the mirror. Sometimes, I wouldn't progress for the whole afternoon. She stood there on the side, her impatience written on her face. Yet I continued to dance.

But today was different. There was a problem with the electric wiring in the practice room. The air conditioning and fan were all on strike. Even the advanced cla.s.s, which was full of girls who aimed to test into the top-tier ballet companies, were so hot that they all stood to one side to rest and gossip. Of course, I was also sweating buckets. But after thinking about it, I faced the mirror anyway and continued to practice.

It was very awkward to practice all by myself. All the people who could dance a million times better than you, stood right behind you. They used all sorts of critical, sarcastic, or mocking gazes to look at you.

"I bet she won't last till next Wednesday. Haha, she apparently got a.s.signed to Wu Ke, the teacher with the worst temper. Even we wouldn't be willing to have Wu Ke teach us. She's so talentless and Wu Ke's words are so harsh. No matter how thick her skin is, within a few days she'll be crying from all the scolding and quit." They merrily fanned themselves with their hands while mocking me like this.

The heat wave surged on, and I continued to stare at myself in the mirror as I did the most basic movements.

"First bend the knee and put your leg forward. Half bend. Straighten. Full bend. Return." I didn't know when Wu Ke returned. She was impatient, yet still stood in the hot, stuffy room correcting my posture. "How are you so stupid?! Use your hands too! Extend your arm forwards. Then backwards. Straighten! Keep your balance. Good! Relax your fingers. Relax them more!" Then she came over and physically moved my hands. Then she slapped my belly and said, "Tighten your abdomen!"

"Good. Maintain this posture. Extend your whole body. Concentrate your strength. Slowly feel the movement of the energy in your body. Calm your heart, from the top of your head spreading outwards. Ballet is an art of strength. You are the master of every inch of muscle in your body."

It was rare that Wu Ke didn't mock me as much this time. The practice room was filled with gla.s.s windows. With the sun s.h.i.+ning in, the temperature quickly rose.

We practiced like this the whole afternoon. By the time the air conditioning finally kicked in again, we were both already full of sweat.

I then noticed that in the place I had been standing before, there had already acc.u.mulated a small pool of sweat.

My earnest practice probably changed something fundamental. Afterwards, I progressed at lightning speed. Though Wu Ke still frequently scolded me, I respected her from the bottom of my heart.

Compared to those teachers who simply played music and made beginners practice with the advanced cla.s.s, Wu Ke was strict and had a terrible temper, but her teaching was always sincere.

However, I still hit a bottleneck.

After the basics, I would be going en pointe. My feet weren't in good shape and my legs didn't have enough strength.

"This time you can't sneakily attempt to go en pointe like last time. If you fail even slightly to properly support yourself, in the best case, you sprain your ankle. Worst case scenario, you can never dance again. Your body already isn't in the best condition. You need to stretch out your foot more, and stretch out your instep wider in order to stand steadily en pointe. Don't jump ahead of yourself."

But this time, I really wanted to jump ahead. I practiced unceasingly yet didn't see any results. I started to become anxious and restless.

My ligaments were too tight, and couldn't stretch open that far. My center of gravity was also unstable. Because of lack of exercise this year, my whole body felt stiff. This really wasn't the life of a ballet dancer that I envisioned. Even the beginning moves that I had completed, I had completed with great difficulty. My goal of becoming a professional felt very far away.

I couldn't properly stretch out my feet and waist. And when hard work couldn't make up for my lack of ability, I started to feel a bit tired and lazy.

That day, I was in front of the mirror, killing time by stretching my legs. Wu Ke walked over. I looked up at her. Suddenly without warning, she pushed my back hard down towards my legs. She rested her whole body weight against my back.

There was a sudden, heart-splitting burst of pain. It was as if my whole body shattered into pieces. It hurt so much I started crying right then and there. It was more painful than when I had relearned how to walk.

For the rest of my life, I will never forget that feeling.

"It seems like I was too kind to you." Wu Ke pressed down on me. She wasn't young anymore, and it was a bit difficult for her. But she still used every ounce of her strength to stretch me out. I could feel every tendon within me twitching in pain. I was practically able to hear the sound of my muscles pulling taut. Wu Ke didn't relent, and I was forced to maintain this position. My sweat flowed down profusely, and it hurt so much I started screaming.

"I'm dying! Dying!"

"You have to endure past this stage." Wu Ke's voice was cold and clear. "There is no move in dance that is painless. This is only the start. You have to get used to the pain."

"This is no ballet dancer who is satisfied with their body. This is why every day we dance facing a mirror to correct our movements. The mirror is unable to hide your mistakes. We must fight with ourselves every second of the day." After Wu Ke said this, she finally released me.

Wu Ke's actions were rough and almost cruel. But I knew that this was her greatest kindness to me.

Ballet in and of itself is the practice of consistently testing the limits of the human body's beauty. Let alone me, even the most outstanding dancers will have regrets about their bodies. Everyone's the same. Everyone has their own difficulties. I want to go on stage and conquer mine. Or else I will only be rubbish.

Hard to Escape Chapter 27

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Hard to Escape Chapter 27 summary

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