Her Big Break…Friday Fictioneers 16th November, 2022.

Departing for the prestigious Prix de Lausanne, 16 year old ballerina and proud Ngemba woman, Stella Donovan was asked what inspired her to dance.

“When I was five, I found a jewellery box at the tip with a ballerina twirling around inside. She was deadly and I wanted to dance like her. All me friends and aunties were into netball, but ballet was my thing. I hope to encourage other Aboriginal girls to pursue their dreams.”

Then, the tragic news came through.

Stella had broken her foot moments before she went on, but she wouldn’t let it ground her dreams.


99 words PHOTO PROMPT thank you to © Starsinclayjars

I learn a lot writing these pithy 100 words of fiction. Many of you will know that our daughter is an aspiring ballerina and that things haven’t been easy over the last couple of years with covid and she recently snapped a ligament in her foot, but she’s back on deck again although not about to compete in Switzerland. She has the end of year concert coming up soon and next year will be onto auditions. To add a bit of a twist, I made this ballerina an Indigenous Australian a Ngemba woman from the outback town of Bourke where my Great Great Uncle, Herb Bruhn, was the head of the Bourke Dramatic and Musical Society and put on Cleopatra and Oklahoma under rather challenging circumstances and then had his pianist move away with no replacement. I admire his pluck! Anyway, I was delighted to find out that we have an Indigenous ballerina in the Australian Ballet, Ella Havelka, a Wiradjuri woman from Dubbo with a very encouraging story: What It’s Like To Be The First Indigenous Dancer in the Australian Ballet

This is another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff Fields.

Best wishes,


PS Here’s my own boot story where I broken my foot just before going on stage to play my violin: My Christmas Boot.

My Christmas Boot.

18 thoughts on “Her Big Break…Friday Fictioneers 16th November, 2022.

  1. Rowena Post author

    Thank you very much, Michael. Our childhoods are precious and I remember having such a sense of awe and wonder. I was very intrigued about how the bird’s seed would fall into the grass and grow into a plant. I tried planting lollies and it didn’t work which was rather disappointing. I would’ve made a great alchemist if I’d known about such things back then.

  2. Rowena Post author

    You could make a t-shirt with that on it- especially with a ballerina en pointe. I love it and will share it with my daughter!

  3. Rowena Post author

    You have to be pretty tenacious as the dancer themselves but also the parent. Stella has lot of guts and determination. I love her, even if she is fictional and I really want her to succeed!

  4. Bill

    Your excellent story brought me a smile, Rowena. The explanation was inspiring. Perfect boot for your performance. All so well done.

  5. msjadeli

    The little I do know about ballerinas is that they often dance with injuries and learn how to push through the pain. I admire the lengths they go to to provide joy to others when they watch them dance.

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