“Love is Imperfect”: An Étoile Original by Annie Honebrink

As dancers we are constantly and desperately seeking the unattainable – perfection. We know that we will never arrive; yet, we continue to make the effort over and over again. Every day we stare at ourselves in the mirror, striving to reach this impossible goal. It may seem crazy, bizarre, unhealthy even. However, I have found this process to be the most rewarding and valuable of experiences. Ballet has taught me to never stop seeking, growing, and becoming. There is always more inside to give. I know that I will never achieve perfection in my dancing, but on the journey I have discovered much of who I am and who I can become. It is not an easy path. I will always remember the sinking twist of my stomach when the cast sheet was not in my favor – the ache in my throat, mustering all my will power not to cry. The swollen ankles and blistered toes; the throbbing muscles and creaking body parts; the constant battles or weight and body image; the isolation and numbness of body injury – it isn’t always glamorous. Despite the many difficult realities, I would do it all again without hesitation. My moments onstage are some of the most precious of my life. My time in the studio has largely shaped the person I am today. Ballet has helped me become something greater than before. As in life, the journey and the process are just as important as the performance.

Love is Imperfect initially appeared in Human Abstract’s issue of Étoile in February 2019.