The Graceful, Blind Ballerina

Oct 4 / Clara Akemi

'One, two, three, and plié... Make gentle movements to straighten your arms...'

The rhythm of these adorable girls dancing to the piano sound makes me love going into this lively environment. I truly feel it wraps around and takes hold of my body. If I weren't a dog, I would choose to be a dancer.
-'Good morning, Aline!'
-'Hi, Aline! Can I go for a walk with Nero?'
-'No, you can't. Her dog is working. And you, you are late. Come on, hurry up!'
Before my owner could even respond, the woman sharply replied to her daughter and dragged the cute little ballerina into her classroom. Aline remained silent and thoughtful, walking through the long corridor on the way to her room. She had a night of sleeplessness and didn't wake up as cheerful and talkative as always. She barely managed to eat breakfast because it felt like her throat was closed, and nothing was going down.

After leaving her with the other dancers to start the class, I went to my corner to wait for the next command as usual. Watching them, I realized that everyone was feeling so nervous during the warm-up.

-'Good morning! How is it going?' The energetic greeting from Anabelle broke the silence; she went on, 'We're on the countdown for the presentation. Are you all ready for this?' The teacher reminded them as she positioned the ballerinas correctly to start the rehearsal. As they were dancing, I noticed, in my imaginative canine mind, that they resembled a leafy tree: feet firmly planted in the ground like roots, posture as firm as a tree trunk, and arms and hands resembling branches full of leaves swaying gently.
So, finally, the day we've all been waiting for was here!
-'Let's all go and do our best. Break a leg!' someone shouted enthusiastically as the ballerinas prepared to go on stage. Aline gave me a strong and tight hug that I could feel her heartbeat speeding up. At the time of the performance, as if by a touch of magic, the rhythm of the music began to infuse lightness and grace into the dancers' movements, liberating them from all the tension felt previously.
The pressure of being a perfect dancer and the fear of making a mistake never held Aline back from conquering the world. Blindness was never considered a limitation for her, so everything she achieved in life was through a lot of effort and dedication. She was never spoon-fed.

This story pays homage to all the dancers of the Fernanda Bianchini's Blind Ballet Association, where they learn discipline, perseverance, and the art of continuing to dance even when they fall. Their performances have been taking place in many countries, including at the opening ceremony of the London Paralympic Games in 2012; besides winning numerous awards over the course of 20 years. The group is also the subject of the documentary 'Looking at the Stars' directed by the Brazilian filmmaker Alexandre Peralta.
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