Sienna sat in the corner of the room, watching all the dancers, looking down at her purple wheelchair, and her lifeless feet, not feeling sorry for her-self but with determination. She was going to dance again. She didn’t know how or when but she was going to dance again as sure as her name was Sienna Belle.
I can’t walk that shouldn’t mean I can’t dance.
“Sienna I am glad to see you here.” Kirsten her former dance instructor said. “We were all sad about what happened to you. Did you come to watch the students?”
“No I came to see about dancing, I know people dance in wheelchairs all the time. I want to take a contemporary class, maybe a little Jazz and Hip Hop. I want to dance again.”
Sienna let the words spill. She wanted to dance and she had to make Kirsten understand and she was sure her dance instructor did, at least the part of needing to dance. Perhaps she did not understand what it was like to stare at lifeless legs every morning, to struggle to do the simple things, but Sienna was not one to sit around feeling sorry for herself.
“Are you sure about this?” Kirsten asked, her brow furrowed in obvious concern.
“I am sure about this, I want to dance. I may not be able to walk, but I know I can dance. I have seen wheelchair dancer, Kelsea showed me a video of a hip hop dancer in a wheelchair she was amazing. I don’t see why I can’t dance?”
If there was one thing that people always noticed about Sienna it was that she was determined. When her mind latched to an idea, she was determined to see it come to fruition and know was no different. Sienna was not one to give up easily and that was going to take her far. It had allowed her to come through the shooting, and the aftermath of it as well as she had, but more than that it was her faith that had moved her.
“I haven’t worked with anyone in a wheelchair before.” Kirsten admitted. “But you know what I think it’s about time I did, and I think you are a great start. I know what you are capable of and I really don’t think that has changed.”
“Thank you Kirsten. I won’t make you regret this believe me.”
“Sienna I could never regret a class with you in it, I have always known you have an amazing gift.”
“No thank you Sienna, for giving me this opportunity.”
She continued to sit in the room watching the other dance students. Her fingers tapping the arm rest of her chair, keeping rhythm with the songs that were playing over Kirsten’s Stereo system. She was able to keep beat, and it felt good. Somehow Sienna knew she was going to do this and she was grateful.
Sienna had pulled her hair up in a bun, the way she had when she danced ballet, but somehow she no longer wanted to do ballet, she wanted something with more rhythm more beat. She wanted to praise the Lord in her dance.
Perhaps I will be able to use dance when I am a missionary. I know Children in Africa, and probably everywhere else love to dance. I know I love to dance, and it’s a way to praise the Lord. The dance did not have to die with the bullet, and I am not going to let it die.
“Do you want to get a little practice in now?” Kirsten asked, coming up to Sienna, resting a slim hand on her wheelchair.
She has a dancers hand.
Sienna looked at her own build and realized she too was built like a dancer, not the kind that starved themselves, because Kirsten would not go for that. To many dancers starved themselves into a grave, but dancers who took care of themselves.
“Yes. I think I would like to practice. I haven’t danced since I was shot. I want to dance again.”
“You will Sienna, but remember you haven’t done it in a while and you are going to have to take it slowly. I am not telling you that to coddle you, but I would tell that to anyone who had time away from dance. You have to take it slow or you will overdo it.”
Sienna knew Kirsten was right and she would take it slow at first, but she would not be coddled either. She was in a chair, that did not make her an infant. Sienna was going to prove to the world that a chair was not going to define her, that the shooting did not mark the end. She was not going to be a victim that wasn’t Sienna’s style.
“I can’t believe you are doing this.” Kelsea said when she came to pick up Sienna. “I mean so soon, but I am proud of you.”
“I want to do this Kels… I want others to see that a wheelchair or any disability doesn’t have to stop you. That you don’t have to roll over and play dead after something like this happens.”
“I think others are going to be inspired by you.”
“Kels, it’s not about that, it’s about getting on with my life and showing others that they can too. I am going to dance, because I can. It’s not about proving anything to anyone but myself, and perhaps showing others that struggle they don’t have to struggle all the tie.”
Sienna wheeled herself to the car, Kelsea following closely behind. She found herself thanking the Lord that this place was equipped with ramps. Funny how she had never thought about things like that before, because she had never been in that situation.
Thank you Lord for giving me people in my life who support me. I truly do appreciate that. I appreciate everything you have done for me.