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Dance  Sally GrahamWhen I was a little girl. I wanted to be a ballerina.

Grandma had treated me to the production of Swan Lake .

We sat in the scratchy woollen seats of the Festival Theatre in Adelaide and I was transfixed.

The willowy ballerinas seemed to me the epitome of beauty and womanly grace. I wanted to be just like them. At home I would practice turns and stretch my toes to points just like I had seen.

The music still played in my mind and seemed to beligh the fact that at 12 years of age my own frame was already far larger than that of most petite young swans.

I attended dance classes for a very short term and was quickly placed in the “creative dance” stream. There we would imitate trees blown about by silent winds or fiery stallions battering through stable doors. My love for ballet never left, but as the years passed that love became to me, more a theatrical tragedy than a joyful romance.

Once at high school I was a gangly six foot tall with enormous feet and the grace of an ostrich dancing in the desert.

My physicality certainly did impact my Psyche.

By the time I was in prison I was pushing weights in order to bulk up all the more.

In prison we played basket ball and I felt more like the “chief” from “one flew over the cookoo’s nest” than any Globe trotter.

Now I am 46 years old. As the mother of 5 children my body has indeed “been a good friend” to quote Mr Cat Stevens ..and I am more aware than ever that “I wont need it in the end.”

The freedom comes now with knowing that I do not have to conform to the eager pressures of Western culture to be something I am not. To be younger or slimmer or even more graceful in my movements and interactions with the world.

I no longer feel I have to apologise for being not quite..something.

When I dance clumsily with my husband I feel the most beautiful and loved of all great dancers.

And in my quiet times I await the time when I will dance before the Lord in the fullness of release that comes on the other side of this mortal body


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