A Dance Competition

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I leaned over the drinking fountain, and pursed my lips into a square to prevent losing any red sparkles off them. I straightened, satisfied with my success. And noticed all the anxious girls doing triple pirouettes, the splits, or backbends in masses of pink tights. I’m the only one in black pants and a blinged-up shirt. I’m the only tap dancer. I meandered down the hall, stopping to do a wing, or double-triple times step, maybe a maxiford with a pick-up. “Number 457 on deck”. Finally, time for me to head back-stage.

I heaved open the door and walked over to the pudgy woman holding a clipboard, on the ball of my tap shoes – the only silent way – and whispered, “Mckell Johnson, dancing to ‘Let Yourself Go’.” She gave me a curtly nod instructing me to my place in line. I watched the girl on stage, “Wow, I wouldn’t bring a guy to one of these things, that girl would be good in Vegas.” I averted my attention to the girls in front of me. There was a little one and an older one. Both were nervous, but not me. I knew I was the best. I smiled as the little girl danced.

I ran onto the stage, chin held high. And waited. The music blared igniting my dance’s energy. I danced with all the joy I could, and falaped off stage, confident I brightened my audience’s day. I wasn’t going to be losing a point on either showmanship or enjoyability, and I never have. I’m a performer, not just a dancer.


I gathered my family and three hugs before heading out for ice-cream. “Vanilla with Heath, Black Raspberry, Peach, and Curly Fries, please.” Our clerk instructed, “$16. 94” between flirting over her shoulder with the tall burger boy. Her eyes crinkled as a smile burst across her face, she really liked that boy. My mom lead the way to a table, wandering back until a nearly clean one presented itself. Claiming chairs we settled into their cushion’s for the next hour-and-a-half. “So Jeff, how do you answer Bracken’s ‘Virgin Lips’ question now-a-days?" I teased with an elbow-nudge. Jeff smiled as he rolled his eyes. I continued, “Ya know, I like Bracken, he’s nice-n’-cocky. Plus, dancing with those biceps would be quite the treat.” “You’ve finally started noticing those things, eh?” “Yea, I guess I have.” “So who do you like anyway,” inquired my dad. “Daniel.” “Oh yea? Oh yea?” my brother teased, “why’s that?” Thankfully the waiter showed up just then saving me, and delivering shakes. “Hmm-mmm-mmm. I love heath. Bub, may I try yours?” He leaned his cup towards me; I took a whopping scoop. “Oooh, that’s good too. Want some of mine?” My mom reached her spoon over to mine. Quickly the shakes were devoured. As Jeff scraped the bottom of his cup my dad pulled out his phone, “It’s time to go back.” “O-key-doe-key Daddy, lets go get my crown.”

That’s exactly what we did. I won. Just like the year before, and the year before that. I went home victorious with my make-up plastered face. I stumbled through the door and entered the bathroom to commence battling my gallon of mascara, my blush, my darker-than-me base, and the day-long lipstick under the glitter. A half-hour later I swayed into my pajamas and plopped into my bed. Too tired to be happy.

But I woke-up happy the next morning.





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