Stage + Studio, A Louisville Ballet Blog: “Risk” by Annie Honebrink

In this week’s Stage + Studio, Louisville Ballet dancer Annie Honebrink explores the decisions that led her to become a professional ballet dancer.

I like the safe road. The one more traveled by. The one where you can clearly see the end point. The destination is sure. Set. Secure. I like to know where I’m going. And how I’m getting there. Lists. Lists. More lists. Plan. Plan. Plan more.

College is the safe route. I know the course. Family would be proud. Grandma and Grandpa would approve. The path has already been laid. I just have to follow. Straight and wide. Easy. Simple. Safe. Stomach knots. Heart sinking. Dumbbell on my chest, suffocating me.

Ballet is my passion. My art. My dream. But passions are like fire. Wild, untamed. Dangerous. And art is ever changing. Never set in a straight path. And dreams are air. Nearly impossible to catch. And hold. They slip out of your fingers. Nothing safe. Nothing secure. The future of this path is blurred. No definite end to the story. Stomach butterflies. Heart flutters. Hold my breath.

Choice looms before me. Do I take the leap? Jump off the ledge into the unknown. Hope to fly. Is it worth the chance that I might fall? Or do I walk through life—never falling. And never flying. Never having to face the devastation of defeat. And never experiencing the sweet bliss of victory. My heart knows where to go—but do I have the courage to leap? Will I have the strength to fight. Will I have the endurance to press on? The gates of my home wrap around and embrace me in a hug. Feed me courage. Strength. Endurance. And nudge me to the edge.