My freedom begins when my feet are bound. Wood, glue, cloth, ribbon. From the tips of my toes, aching to be released from the tight box, to the soft pink ribbons, wrapping my ankles and holding them in place like the choke-tight thread that binds a promise. My legs protest my every move, my stomach tells me what in doing is wrong, to please come down, it hurts. My feet suffocate against the soft pink. My already bandaged, bruised, battered body watches in horror as I test every limit I have, as I stand on the brink of a painful, returneless place. I know never to cross it. The beginning of my freedom means the protest of my body. I stretch and bend, the taste of the internal wilderness of being boundless beckoning me closer. I pull myself to my feet, which cry with one last objection. The music begins, and I am free. Overcome with euphoria. Every single part of me feels as if I will break at any moment. My body works to hold me, my ankles feel the forces of myself and gravity, near shaking under it. But I am weightless. Scores of notes break every worldly bond in my mind and turn after turn pulls me closer to breathless laughter. There is magic in my fingertips as they reach for an imaginary partner. My mind fills the room with colors and the ache of my bones turns to lemon yellow, powder blue, stormy grey as the music moves. My feet aren't touching the ground, I have never been more alive. Gravity cannot lay a hand on me while the music and the pink ribbons hold me. I live blind to anything but the world of the story bound in my shoes. I am an open book. I am a vehicle for the world, it puts itself on display through the movements of my arms and the way I throw myself into the air, fearless of landing. I am the girl in the music box, the fairy of Christmas and spring, the movements of music you have heard throughout your life. I am the little girl who grew up with dreams full of music box music and pointed toes. I am the girl who knows her limits, but moves as if she has none. There is freedom in the structured movements, if you listen to the music, you will know. I am set free by the ties of a perfect imperfection, by the prim and proper and reckless abandon of a story told through movement. When I am bound by the ropes of tight shoes and pulled hair and lacy pink pain, when I am bent until I feel like I have to break, I am free. In the binds of a music box, a sugar plum, a sleeping beauty, a picturesque ballerina, I am unlimited.