Original Post

TITLE: Ballet Dreams
GENRE: Middle grade

After Melissa’s mom pulled into the parking lot, she let out a deep breath.  “I don’t know why you couldn’t wait.”

Melissa pressed her lips together.  “It’s been forever since my last class.”

Melissa’s mom scoffed.  “It’s only been two months, Melissa.  It’s not like you’ll never get back to it.”

“I need to take class if I’m going to be a ballerina.”

Mom studied her.  “All right, sweetie. I’ll see you in an hour.”

Once inside the building, Melissa glanced around.  Would this be the one she’d love, the one she’ll want to spend all her time at?

A smile twitching on her lips, Melissa struggled to walk instead of bounce toward the classroom.  Then she paused outside the dance room.  The others would be friends.  Would they like her?  Having a friend in class made it so much more fun.

After the last students entered, she slipped in and took a spot at the end of the barre.  Warm, sweat-ladened air enveloped her body.  Her shoulders relaxed.  A faint whiff of flowery perfume from an earlier class tickled her nose while she stretched her tight legs.

Ten girls leaned along the worn double wooden poles drilled into the wall.  They peeked at her before they murmured in each other’s ears.  Were they talking about her? Melissa’s neck warmed.  She checked her leotards and tights for holes.  None there.  She gave them a small smile.

At the other end of the barre, a tall girl’s imperial attitude demanded attention.  Like an empress among a half-dozen “ladies-in-waiting,” she swept her heavy-lidded gaze around the room.