We leant back against the metal railing and her leg touched mine. Exciting times. I look down to make sure I wasn't rubbing my leg against a bag or something and I see a dark scar like that snaked from just above her knee all the way up her thigh.
What happened there? I asked. She paused for a while and told me that she had just recovered from a hip operation. A decade of dance had broken her body and eventually it simply became too painful. She would fall into a vicious cycle of pushing through the injury and facing the whiplash of her hip being damaged even more.
I guess she saw that I was having a hard time processing what she had told me because she said that there wasn't much to worry about. Luckily, or unluckily, it was not deemed an 'emergency' operation according to the NHS so she would have to get the operation done in the Czech Republic. So, without any family or any friends (they were all dancers with no worker's rights, apparently), she went under general anaesthetic in a foreign country for an operation that at best may lengthen her ballet career for a few years and at worse leave her more or less paralysed on one leg.