A/N: Just an idea I couldn't get out of my head one day. By no means am I encouraging this behaviour, I am merely Illustrating that it does happen. Hope you like it somewhat. PLEAE review and let me know what you think. Did you like it? How can I improve my writing? What needs to change? etc..

Jess


Dance equals war.

Maddie stood in line, her hair in a perfectly neat bun, as she took in the rest of the class.

'Its funny, you know.' She thought watching the other ballerinas get ready, some tying their shoes others straightening their leotards. 'They think this is just another art form. They think it's graceful. When in reality this is war.'

Dance, or ballet rather, is an elite sport. You spend years training, and can still get nowhere. It can cost you hundreds – or even thousands – and you could snap one bone, one ligament and that could be the end of your dream, your career.

If you were to stop, you would have no hope of ever getting back into shape. There are no guarantees in the world of dance, none except for that of arthritis and tears. You were in competition with every single girl (or boy), not only in that class, but also in the state.

Maddie knew all this, as did every girl in the class.

Dance was ruthless; but it was their world.

Mademoiselle Naomi started the music. Her voice soft, floating through the air, relaying what the exercise was to be.

The first group of girls stepped up, taking their positions and waiting for the counts.

"One, two, three, four. Two-two, three, four. Three-two, three…"

And they were off. Maddie watched as Mademoiselle stated that, that was what not to do. Cassidy had the worst turn out ever. Lisa had looked down the whole time. Sasha had not been able to follow simple instructions and got the whole thing wrong. Lena had no timing. And Emily, the girl on the end, the best of a bad group was declared to be too fat. She wobbled like jelly on a plate, and if she wanted to stay in the class, she'd need not only a nutritionist, but also a personal trainer.

The rest of the class watched nervously as those involved, especially Emily, blushed and tried their hardest to hide their embarrassment.

The class continued on in much the same way, Mademoiselle kept making snide remarks about little picky things, but after all that was the world of dance.

Maddie nervously checked her self over. Amanda had just been kicked out for a stray piece of hair, whereas Belinda had been sent home over an untucked ribbon. Her hair was still perfect; shoes were still neat and tidy; fingers nails were pristine. In short she still looked the part.

After class, Maddie meet up with her mates - Emily, Stephanie and Sophie - in a spare room. The quartet may have just spent three hours in Mademoiselle's class, but there was still more to be done. After all practice makes perfect, and boy did they need to be perfect if they were to make it in the mid-year performance. Mademoiselle had announced that in the next month she would be picking people for parts – five of which were main roles. It was essential that they got these parts. Without them, their dance careers could be over; as scouts for each major dance school in the country came to the mid-year performance and only those in the leads were ever noticed.

It was now a self-proclaimed war for each girl in the class. Every kilogram you gained counted, every single strand of hair out of place meant a cross next to your name. Every mistake could be fatal. It was now only enemy verus enemy, but friend verus friends.

"How do you stay so thin?" Emily voiced the thought that had been bothering her since Mademoiselle's comment.

Maddie and Emily had been dancing together since they could walk. They were best friends, closer than the best of best friends due to the circumstances surrounding them.

Maddie thought about this for a second as she manoeuvred her weight so she could slide from the full right leg splits, into that of the left-leg.

"I eat the bare minium. Enough to just about please my mother and nothing more."

Rather than be shocked at the implications of what Maddie had just said, Emily replied,

"Does it work?"

"Better than any other diet I have ever tried before."

"Didn't…you know?" mused Emily aloud.

To which Maddie replied with a raised eyebrow, as she began to pack up her bag.

"You know… Abigail…didn't she die from that?"

"Wouldn't you die for a place in the performance?"

"I guess," Emily replied weakly.

This was war; and it could be fatal.