by Susan Quinn
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.