Sometimes when I dance, and I hit something dead on, I feel completely whole. Everything seems in perfect balance both within and outside me. I feel as though my blood is desperately attempting to explode out of my skin and I get this wonderfully terrifying swoop in my stomach as I think "was that me? Did I just dance that?" And I feel perfect. I don't know how it looked, but it feels perfect and there's this addicting satisfaction. I crave that feeling because that's the only form of perfection I can simulate. I feel beautiful, and powerful, and I want to share that feeling with the world. But nobody can join in on that, not unless they know the feeling of feeling wonderful while simultaneously striving harder with every breath, every plie. When I dance, life goes on, but it also feels suspended, and it's comparable to being in another world. This is where the barrier springs up, magic-like. This is where people tend to misunderstand: when we say it's like being transported to another world, we don't mean Mars. We don't mean a land filled with fantastical animals and myths. All we mean is a world completely united, a state almost, of complete and all-encompassing self-satisfaction. But it is another world, and being there fills you with such happiness you can scarcely stand not spinning around in circles whilst shouting. And then you're brought back to a dusty studio with an unforgiving mirror, and you want nothing more than to go back to that place, and so you try harder.

We may be called perfectionists, in every negative sense of the word, but sometimes it seems as though perfection is the only way back to that other, magical world. Perfection, or striving for perfection, is just a bittersweet path to happiness.