Thursday, October 7, 2010

The World in Miniature - The Dancer

by Susan Quinn
Ink Spells

The Dancer

His foot taps to the music, and he can’t help the wiggle that follows. He’s a Jedi and a Ninja and a bird all wrapped up in a whirl of arms and legs. When his mom walks in the room, he stumbles to a stop and almost lands on the cat. “Keep going,” she says, but he goes to find something that boys do, like training Pokemon to fight.

At the piano, he knows just where the fingers go to make that song, the one his brother plays with his long fingers and three years of lessons. One day he’ll be big enough to visit Mrs. Lyle and her giant black piano that shares a room with her harp and lace covered shelves.

He marches up the steps, because his mom is making him. Pictures of girls in pink tutus hang on the wall. He covers his eyes in protest and trips. His mom catches him before he falls.

The dance class has a mirror and is filled with girls, just like he said. Then a boy comes in, with short black hair that sticks out from his big brown head. The boy stands next to him, and he knows the boy will be his new best friend.

The teacher lets them go free style and the boy kicks and punches the air. He copies the boy, who smiles and punches the air again. His fists fly in the mirror.

Later on the TV, there’s a bunch of people dancing. In front are the boys, with feet that twist and turn while their bodies slant like lizards. They sway together, then hop apart like frogs. The music makes his toes tap.

“Can we watch it again?” he asks. His mom smiles.

When he goes back to dance class, he doesn’t cover his eyes, and an amazing thing happens. Two more boys come to class. They stick like glue to him, and he shows them how to twist their feet like sneaky snakes. They trip over his feet and he laughs.

Next time he’ll show them the Ninja move.

14 comments:

Rick Daley said...

Nice, half Billy Elliot, half Last Airbender (TV show, not the movie version).

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

@Rick How is it possible that I didn't know about Billy Elliot? Awesome. :)

Adam Heine said...

Cool. I like all the ways you described different kinds of dancing. I also like the point of the story. I mean, those guys on So You Think You Can Dance have to come from SOMEWHERE.

Mira said...

This is great! Love this, Susan.

Joyful, boy energy.

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Margo Berendsen said...

Great little story. My daughter did a ballet recital last year, but it was the boy's dance that blew me away. There were only 3 boys, but they danced out a scene from Treasure Island and it was amazing. I think as this story suggests a lot of boys avoid dance because they have to mingle with the pink tutu girls!

Matthew Rush said...

Can't believe I missed this. Great work Susan! Is this true? About your son?

Never mind, don't say, it's a beautiful tale either way.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

@Adam Those So You Think You Can Dance guys are MOST impressive. :)

@Mira Thanks! We have an abundance of boy energy in my house. :)

@Margo Three boys! Awesome. And yes, the tend to steal the show. I'm not sure that's entirely fair!

@Matthew Yes, this is real-life inspired. :) And since Rick clued me in about Billy Elliot, we're now going to see the show! Can't wait. :)

Donna Hole said...

Awesome Sue.

I really enjoyed this. So lyrical, and boy-thoughts.

Such vivid imagery of his world.

.......dhole

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Thanks Donna!

Nate Wilson said...

When I was six, I was the only boy in the tap class, and one of two in gymnastics. I might have stuck with them if they'd ever taught me the Ninja move.

This is a wonderful story, Susan. I really enjoyed it.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

@Nate That both warms my heart and breaks it! Thank you for sharing - I'm glad you enjoyed the story! :)

Deniz Bevan said...

That was lovely Susan! You captured one heck of a voice in such a short piece. The first paragraph was my favourite part. That, and the last line :-)

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

@Deniz Thanks! That's the youngest voice I've ever written, but it helps having little voices around me all the time. :)