All that Jazz

January 9, 2008
By Lauren Jessen, Hunts Point, WA

As the heavy velvet maroon curtain opened, a tall, slender woman struck a glamorous pose in the form of a swan. Toes pointed, knees bent, fingers curled, and neck tilted up towards the low, dark ceilings where smoke and music rose. The sequins on her dress sparkled in the spotlight and as she unfolded her bony knees, the fringes dangled and swayed from left to right. The woman’s black fishnet stockings hugged her stick-like legs and she tapped her polished black shoes against the hard wood floor, waiting for her cue from the pianist to make her next move. As the blue spotlight shone on her pale, washed out face, her deep red lips and dark smoky eyes stood out to the audience. The woman’s black hair was cut to her chin, defining her high cheek bones. As the saxophones started up, the woman belted out a heavy but sultry tune, leaving the audience to wonder where she hid her booming voice in her small body. Dancers filed out from behind her, surrounding her on chairs, stroking her arms—a perfectly choreographed routine. As the music started playing faster, the lights dimmed, and the woman disappeared from center stage. Just as the last note hit, a bright spotlight shone on a small, backwards chair the woman was sitting in, with her hand stretched out to the roof. The audience stood up to applaud, and the woman thought to herself, “Smile. Just one more smile.”

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