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I sat next to moms and dads at the Berlind Theater tonight, while their dance students, mostly young women, many from other states, performed at the closing concert for the Princeton Ballet School summer intensive program. I had watched them at the barre (as above).

The parents had reason to be proud. Very few of them will see their dancers on a professional stage. For some, this performance will be the highlight of their young careers.

It was a worthy highlight. On a professional stage with nice costumes and lighting, the choreography challenged but did not tax; it showcased the average dancer and let the talented shine.

I’m glad for them all, even those not blessed with the right bodies for dance or with the unstinting ambition of their fated-to-be-more-successful peers. All have learned what it is to work and work some more.

For those who make dancing only their avocation, they have a resourece at times when they don’t want to reveal that their hearts are low. They have learned how to hold themselves with a royal air. And no one will know.

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