Bethany Khol

Trick of the Mirror

I look in the mirror at the front of the room. I can see myself next to my fellow dancers at the barre. I dress like them—black leotard, pink tights, ballet shoes, hair pulled into a bun—but not enough to fit in. My wide shoulders, thick legs, and wobbly ankles betray me. The warm up begins. Plie, 2, 3, 4: The girl in front of me dips close to the ground. I only dip a few inches. Releve, 2, 3, 4: The girl in front of me holds as still as the photo of the famous Russian ballerina on the wall. I have to step out three times. Grande, 2, 3, 4: The girl in front of me nearly kicks her face. I only kick parallel to the ground. The teacher calls for center exercises and we all leave the barre. I step in front of the middle crack in the mirrors. It makes me look like half a person. Better.


About the author: Bethany Khol is a twenty-one year old Molecular Biology major and Creative Writing minor at Cedarville University in Ohio. She has been dancing since an early age and has continued dancing and choreographing in college. She hopes to soon pursue a PhD in Developmental Biology and to continue writing pieces that combine her love of writing with her other interests. She recently published another creative nonfiction piece in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine.