He smiles at the audience. He appears to float above the ground like a muscular balloon before landing soundlessly. The springs in his legs are tightly wound and ready to propel him upward again. He stops and gestures to his partner. She's his princess on two points. She walks onto the stage with her invisible toes squashed into an inch square point at the end of her pointe shoes. The pain keeps mounting as she gracefully smiles to cover the pain. He lifts her up and slams her back into the ground again and again as they dance together. All eyes are on her beautiful arms and legs as they tell of her love, her passion, her suffering. The ex-ballerinas in the audience wince and grimace with her every move because they know the effort and the sacrifice needed to be where she is now.
He smiles at the audience again. Time for his solo. This time he covers the stage with a blur of speed. He spins here and there and then he's gone. The audience breathes again in relief. Their hands ache from all the clapping. People shout, "Encore! Encore!" and "Bravo!" He comes back onto stage, cool and calm. His heart is pumping and his legs are trembling. The sweat pours off him to evaporate in the heat of the spotlights. He's a man in more than all senses of the word; powerful, sensitive, reliable, poised, graceful, dependable, and confident in tights and make-up. His wife waits in her tutu in the wings for a wave of his hand. When it comes, so does she.
Two dance animals stand side by side in the spotlights. Flowers are thrown and the audience roars like a beast about to pounce on its prey. It's a standing ovation, as usual. They bow and smile and wave to the hungry crowd. Their final performance.
Now it's time to retire to the excitement of making and raising children, a mortgage, a career change, old age, and the last performance of all; sans applause, sans flowers, sans everything. The final curtain.