. . Ballerina The balanced ballerina on her toe was poised with perfect posture—back and chest. The crowd, in silent awe, enjoyed the show, as she maintained a flawless arabesque. The dancer twirled to glide a sweet chassé with ease and elegance of mastery. This student of the classical ballet showed discipline as strict as chastity. Her graceful, structured arms in port de bras, each rising plié follows rhythmic falls— a choreography without a flaw. She bowed to standing hails and "Bravo" calls. The judges wrote their scores upon a sheet like grading cut and clarity of jewels. Each move has names and standards they must meet, the dance was thus critiqued against the rules. A new performer pranced upon the stage. The music played and, much to their surprise, her awkward sequences profaned the page— a charlatan in tarlatan disguise. Her pirouettes were like a wobbly top on clumsy feet that clopped just like a clown’s. Her lines, disorganized as scribble-slop. The grand jeté had barely left the ground. The judges stopped the show and took the chance to question the imposter for an answer: “What is this folly that you claim is dance?” —“It is ballet, and I’m a ballet dancer. “Instructors from my school believe that I will be a laureate among the greats and say I needn’t be restricted by what your old institution stipulates. “I am a ballerina who is free and my unfettered feet have graced this floor. The dancer should decide what dance should be, and I deserve the judge’s highest score.” The senior judge then spoke, “With due respect, your effort is commendable, but still, you stumble on this stage and then expect that we should think it took surpassing skill? “It’s like the so-called writers of our time, who steal the poet’s monicker, but worse, they’re ignorant of meter, form, and rhyme and chop their prose to serve it up as verse. “You splash the paint then pass it off as art, and even if we turned it upside down, we’re as confused as from the very start, while you stand proudly in your painter’s gown. “What we just saw, my dear, was not ballet; to call it such offends this fine arena. I speak for all the artists when I say: please do not call yourself a ballerina.” . . Michael Pietrack is a writer, businessman, and former baseball player who resides in Colorado.