The rehearsal started as usual, chattering voices hidden by a golden curtain that fell silent to the beginning chords of the first song. "Alright people! We will be doing the Masquerade partner dance! Find a partner and get focused!" the director's loud baritone announced. Like an anthill kicked by kids on a playground, everything was a flurry of movement as everyone sought a dancing partner they knew. A young man grabbed my sleeve. "Want to be my partner?" he offered, with a bright smile. I felt warmth in my face when I said "Sure" to the beautiful stranger. The lead choreographer began to teach the moves. Then she walked on stage. She being Jessica Kilper. She was sweet as apple pie, smart, funny, kind hearted, popular and gorgeous. The 'everything' girl. The kind so nice you kind of hated them anyway for being so perfect. My partner dropped me in the midst of the dance and rushed over, begging to be her partner. Ouch. But all the people without partners were told to dance alone. So, faking a smile, I began to practice the first part of the dance. I closed my eyes, choosing to get lost in the music and the movements of the dancing. Suddenly a warm hand grabbed mine. I blinked, stumbling. "Need a partner?" a smiling boy asked. I smiled. "Yes". And we danced. We laughed and joked around and I grew to relish the warmth of his hand in mine during the dance. He was reassigned to an 'everything girl' and I was cut from the scene, left to sit in the wings of the stage. Normally I'd have felt miserable, rejected, but all I could think was, for a few minutes, I didn't have to dance alone.
To Dance Alone
September 24, 2011