In the bottom of this box are dreams disguised as dance shoes and clothes. The shoes are loving worn out. Not quite with holes, just worn spots and discoloration where my toes used to rub the floor the most. They’re still good, I could still wear them. But I don’t. I don’t dance anymore.

There’s nothing in the world that makes me feel more alive than dancing. It’s the way my soul speaks. When I hear a song it’s rare that I’m not dancing to it. Only now I usually only dance in my head.

When I was younger I was a dancer. I danced all styles of dance but I wanted nothing more than to dance on pointe shoes. I took classes several days a week. When I wasn’t in class I was practicing for class. As a little girl my favorite places were the aisles of the grocery store. They were the best for practing spotting as I twirled. My mom didn’t seem to mind. At least she never stopped me. My mom was wonderful like that.

My dance teachers were some of my favorite people in the world. They were beautiful and when they danced it was like magic. They didn’t just perform steps, they sparkled. Dances weren’t just a series of steps put together, they were their feelings set to music.

One day the head of the studio called me into her office. I don’t remember why. I do remember her asking me what my goals were. Among other things I mentioned how much I wanted to dance en pointe. I don’t remember anything else she said in that meeting except for one thing. “You don’t have the feet for it.” Everything else is a blur. I don’t remember if I cried then. I don’t think I did. I don’t think I said much else at all. All I remember are those words and feeling like I’d been punched in the stomach. I don’t have the feet for it. Just like that.

I didn’t stop dancing then. It was several years before I stopped altogether. But a little part of me died that day. That dream was snatched right from under my nose by cruel genetics. To this day I cry if I see ballerinas dancing en pointe. Why did that have to be my dream when I wasn’t made able to do it? Cruel.

There are so many reasons that my dance dreams lie in the bottom of a box. Money, time and age are all factors. But packing up things to be put into storage I’m reminded of that moment. The moment one of my dreams died. I’m also reminded that I don’t dance anymore.