“Union dues” by Julia at her desk

Thursday February 14, 2019
9:52pm
5 minutes
from a tax form

Never part of the heard
Never a shepherd either
This one time, took a dance class, a lot of pointing
And flexing
Teased
At the dance class
Underarm hair, visible, peculiar
Didn’t even want to take that class
Wanted jazz
Wanted something with more jump
Never thought about teasing
Thought about jazz
Thought everyone there wanted that
Maybe next year
Never took class again
Didn’t like competing

“Does it not sound like shouting to them?” By Sasha at the Intercontinental Yorkville

Saturday January 13, 2018
5:46pm
5 minutes
The Sisters Brothers
Patrick DeWitt

Ginny goes to dance class. She takes the streetcar across town, and walks twelve minutes to the studio. She’s glad that she doesn’t have to wear a leotard, but that she does have to wear ballet slippers. She used to dance when she was young, but then her teacher, Natasha, said that she doesn’t contain an “iota of grace” and so she stopped. But it haunted her. Natasha’s British accent and her delivery, not exactly cruel in tone, but direct, icy. Ginny changes into shorts and a baggy tank top. She smiles at Leanne, a sixty-nine year old former pastry chef, who is wiggling into tights.

“Ballerina afraid” by Sasha at Balzac’s in the Distillery


Thursday, January 31, 2013 at Balzac’s
3:16pm
5 minutes
Metro News Thursday January 31, 2013

She didn’t want to do it because she knows what happens. First it’s a leotard and a tutu and then it’s bloody toes and an eating disorder. But Mimi pushed. She begged. She left notes on her pillow in her five-year-old precious penmanship that said, “If I don’t go to ballet class with Stefanie I will DIE.” She had to succumb. She couldn’t let her own experience hold her daughter back. So, for Mimi’s birthday, a snowy February morning, she gave her a box wrapped in gold, glittery, tissue paper. Mimi had happily opened a doll and a set of Playmobile and a Little House on the Prarie. Inside the box was a card. On the face of the card was a Degas painting or dancer at a barre. Her blue eyes widened. “No way…” She muttered. She opened the card and her mother read her what it said. “Six months of classes at The Canadian Children’s Dance Theatre.” Mimi burst into tears and ran around the living room screaming and leaping. She watched her daughter.