I have not performed on stage since amm died. Until this past Saturday night. In the last three years I have had the opportunity to perform, but always chose not to. Dancing before was so much for amm. She would be in the audience for every performance and I knew she found such pride in my dancing. I was dancing for her as much I was for me.

Saturday night was the first competition of three that I will be dancing in for my tap group this year. I felt very alone going to the theatre, completing the final costume checks and waiting to go on stage. I questioned who was I performing for anymore. But as I stood backstage, under the ropes of the set, and between the thick, heavy fabric of the wings, I looked up and said under my breath, “This is for you, mom.” Then I tapped onto stage and killed it. And I realize how much I missed it. Oh how I missed it.

Our group did very well and after adjudication, coming off stage, an instructor from the studio stopped me and my friend in the group. I had just met her once before and she said to us, “You are such beautiful dancers. I can’t watch anyone else on stage besides the two of you.”

And that was just what amm used to say to me. She would always say , “You are such a beautiful dancer. I love to watch you dance.”

This was a flap ball-change in the right direction for me.