An Essay By Kathleen Downes
There’s something different about Thursday. The kind of Thursday I know is bright and lively and truth be told, very sparkly. Eight girls are in their element, surrounded by freedom in motion. The girls move to the upbeat pulse of the music, above and beyond the preconceptions that would have labeled such a Thursday impossible. The sound of dreams unfolding is a sound that fills the heart with joy. On the Thursdays I know, the patter of ballet slippers on the floor meets the steady clunk of AFOs. The occasional crash of a crutch falling is just part of the fun. Here, these girls are dancers, each of them with something wonderful and interesting about them. As they discover their own potential, they know that there is nothing “wrong” with them. By accepting that they are indeed quite whole just the way they are they achieve a sense of beauty that is far more important than outward appearances. Though never endowed with the gifts of the gods of balance, they assume their own grace that in its own way leaves the world more balanced than it was before. And as they get lost in glittery pink tutus, somehow they find themselves and all the stars seem within reach. They are Thursday’s dreamers, and every week they see another “crazy dream” come true. There is something different about Thursday, and that is a gift. And as wheelchairs click and crutches thump in their own unique rhythm, suddenly, crazy dreams make a lot of sense.
This essay was written by Kathleen Downes. She presented it to me at the end of our recital. The first song the older girls danced to at the recital was “Crazy Dreams” by Carrie Underwood. The girls selected the song themselves to represent the fact that despite what people think, their “crazy dreams” of being dancers came true.
Kathleen graduated June 2011 from Floral Park High School ranked #7 in her class and won the silver medal in the 2011 Scholastic National Writing contest. She performed a solo dance at our recital to her original essay, “Thursday’s Dreamers”. Kathleen is now a sophomore at the University of Illinois.