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The Short Form

“How To Be a Real Ballerina”

Jane Berenston

Excerpt

Slather your feet in Preparation H.  Don’t be embarrassed to buy Preparation H. Wear a tampon the very first time. Keep lavender in your shoe bag. Keep your toe nails trim. Stay trim. Drink Diet Pepsi. Eat rice cakes. Pretend you like rice cakes. Learn that pas de chat means “step like a chat.” Let your pas de chats improve. Abstain from growing breasts. Stretch every day. Tell guys how flexible you are. Talk shit. Talk shit about the snow queen’s fouté turns. Point your toes while watching television. Turn out your hips while sitting in a desk. Ignore college brochures, college fairs, career counselors, your parents. Get an apartment with a clothesline so your tights and leotards can dance in the wind without you. Stay mysterious. Wear scarves year round and sandals imported from exotic locations. Smoke, but keep bobby pins in the ashtray of your car. Try heroin once.