When I was in fourth grade I started dance classes with my best friend Lindsay Whitelaw. We went four days a week to a building that looked like an abandoned mill building in the middle of an abandoned parking lot. Concord Dance Academy. The entire building smelled like dust and hairspray; it smelled like dance. As a little girl starting out there you got the impression that the big room you were dancing in, the room for the little kids, was just a front for some bigger glamorous stage somewhere. There were common places like the little store where you could buy sour straws and the “lounge” where a 12″ TV played “Back to the Future” on replay. These were the places was where you could catch glimpses of the older girls. They towered above the younger girls like ballerina movie stars, aloof and serious, smelling vaguely of sweat. They would walk in toe-heel with gazelle-like posture, and fill up a water bottle or reset their hair with a can of AQUANET. Then they would glide out again, back to the mysterious dance studios that I longed to be in. They were big fish in the abandoned mill building in the middle of an abandoned parking lot, and I was in awe. I never became one of them. I quit after five years, just shy of slipping my feet into pink point shoes. The owner of CDA, Cindy Flanagan, was a fat delusional middle-aged woman with hair that looked like yellow cotton candy. She insisted on calling me Duhamey and one day during plies said that my butt was too big to be a ballerina. “A bubble butt” were her exact words. Dream’s over, but I will never forget my longing to becoming one of those elusive ballerinas.