An open letter to Sara Michelle Murawski, Ballerina
This week the world watched you at the very top of your game. You danced lead roles in the most beloved of all Christmastime ballets. You accomplished a dream not just of yours, but of little girls, in your big city, in your hometown, and in the entire world.
As you took the stage you felt that. As you lifted your jewel covered head to gracefully step through the open wing and as you felt the light warm your face you absolutely lived it. You lived that very moment for every little girl, everywhere, with a dream.
When the curtain fell, your dreams still soared and your life felt maybe just a little too blissful and beautiful to be true. You felt accomplished. Fulfilled. You felt utter joy and absolute glee.
Then every dream you lived seemed to be crushed in an instant with one big blow.
Pushed out of your position in the ballet company you came to work with suddenly, just in the moments you were still on cloud nine, you were fired. Fired because you are too tall. You don’t fit the company you were a part of. You were rejected.
With every strike and blow of the words you had to hear, with the dreadful realization of what was happening, with every thought of who doesn’t want you anymore your hopes fell. Your heart fell. You fell.
Every dancer, even those who only dance in their minds, like all of the dreaming little ballerinas, every one of them fears the fall.
The fall that happens center stage when all eyes are on you because it is a pivotal moment, because you are in the height of the piece, because the excitement and music has built to its crescendo only to come crashing down.
You dread the fall not because it will hurt but because the whole world is watching you do something big and in an instant, you will fall face first to the ground.
What many of those dreaming ballerinas have yet to understand is, that this fall is important. That you have to start over IS a big deal. That the whole world is watching will have an impact on you and on them.
You see, It isn’t that you fell that will define you, it’s how you get up and handle yourself after you do that will leave its mark. Because sometimes, when you fall, it isn’t your fault, it isn’t pretty and it most definitely is not part of the dance.
The fall is the opportunity to inspire. To show your worth. To make all things new again. To handle it with grace in front of girls you can and will inspire is the biggest thing you may ever be faced with the privilege to do.
“All the world’s a stage.” When we are thrust to the floor of it in front of anyone and everyone who cares to watch, it is also where you get to beautifully rise with strength and dignity as you continue to perform. It is where wings can no longer be clipped, where cages are opened. It is where you learn to fly.
Don’t make a fall a part of the dance. Let it be seen by the world for exactly what it is, an ugly crushing blow. Let it be known that when you are pushed to the ground by the gravity and weight of things you can not control, you will get back up.
Don’t make this fall part of the dance, make the grace you display after it the entire show!
With love and encouragement always,
of a dancer who is