Day 64 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a dance.
Erin: She danced as medicine. If she was sad she’d blare some jams, and create choreography. When her boyfriend and her were fighting, they would sway and dance to music in the living room until they were cheered up. Anger could be defused by screaming along to a song. Nerves could be calmed, with an upbeat pump up song. Medicine could cure all ailments.
Shannon: “Lindsay told me the truth,” Paul grabbed my arm to turn me toward him.
“What are you doing on this side of the stage? You’re suppose to start on the other side, and what are you talking about?”
“She said you accepted the offer. Did you?” His eyes demanded an answer.
Of course Lindsay would tell him right before we had to go on the stage. She’d made it evident she wanted him since the first day he joined the studio, so when he end up dating me she did everything in her power to try to sabotage the relationship. She also wasn’t thrilled when I got the lead in this number. I guess she was saving her attack for the perfect explosion. I wondered how she even found out. “Yes I did,” I finally admitted.
“So why did you lie to me,” he questioned, angrier than I’d ever seen him before.
“Because it doesn’t have to end. I don’t want it to end,” my voice wavered.
“If that were true you wouldn’t have taken the offer over me. It’s over,” he backed away, shaking his head with a look of disgust.
“So that it?” I felt my own anger arise at how easy it was for him to call it off.
“Isabelle get out there. You’re going to miss your cue,” a stagehand pushed me to the edge of the curtain. The show must go on, my dance teacher’s voice replayed in my head and I attempted to clear my thoughts as I stepped forward. I only hoped Paul would at least try to do the same for what could be our last dance.
I did my routine to get myself into position to wait for Paul. The pause for him to join felt longer than usual, and I started to believe he was going to leave me stranded out there alone. Suddenly I felt myself being lifted up, and I could breathe easily again. His hands were rougher as he squeezed my sides, and he didn’t set me down as gracefully as he did in rehearsal.
I managed to keep my facial emotions under control, but this was turning into a continuation of our verbal fight. We were following the choreography, but the emotions and the feelings behind each move conveyed so much more than any of our performances before. It was a goodbye dance, one that could acknowledge the passion and the formation of a tender bond, while also demonstrating the pain.
I felt the emotions of this dance more deeply than I’d ever felt a dance before. It was empowering to know what it felt like to loose myself in a moment. At the end a tear fell from my eye as we both took a bow, because that moment was over and I doubted it could ever exist again.
Make your character dance, dance, dance, dance.
(I don’t really care for dance so this is a little scattered/bad.)
As the lights in the hall went down, leaving the audience in pitch darkness, a few wayward murmurs could be heard from the stage. Someone was whispering in a low, feverish tone that was steadily rising in volume until whoever they were speaking to cut them off. The theatre was thrown into an awkward, forced silence that seemed to drone on forever before soft-soled shoes padded across the stage softly; it was like a small army of housecats were stampeding.
But when the curtain slowly soared into the rafters and faint light shone from either side it was revealed to be dancers, not cats, that had converged on the wooden stage. Lights blazed from the ceiling like stars, shining on the pale, made-up faces as they stood in a graceful vignette. From all corners of the room, a ghostly violin began to play a horrible, nails on chalkboard tune that had the figures perking up and starting to shift around. Their bodies were contorting and flexing at odd angles as they shuffled about the space; they appeared as lost and confused characters as even their faces twisted grotesquely.
Just as the violin’s notes rose and fluttered, the disfigured dancers turned away from the audience, forcing the music to cut off suddenly. They froze in their strange postures to draw attention to something not yet shown. But when I was feeling some concern for a darling young woman nearly bent over backwards who had begun to quiver in her over-extended pose, a long, low note played out on a flute. As it rose and fluttered jovially, a dainty figure shrouded in white sauntered out from a far corner, not showing her face to the spectators.
Behind me a couple took this moment of elated sound to have a menial conversation about their daughter’s horrid grades in mathematics. I was about to tell them to shut it when the fragile, new dancer began leaping into the air, pretending to touch each of the stagnant figures. When she stopped in a peaceful pose in the center the others began shifting again, the horrible violin was back to emphasize their movements. But they were smoother this time, with the string music a little less grating.
As they became more elegant in their actions around the stage, the dancers converged on the pale one, clustering around her in awe. She shifted and the whole stage was swirling with figures leaping and running in a hypnotic circular experience. But drums joined the music and the figures slowed to a stop, letting the pastel dancer lead them into a corner. They shifted around to hide her from the audience as a man dressed in grey leapt onto the stage, looking about for the woman.
His movements were harsher to match the thunder of drumbeats; he wasn’t a graceful dancer at all, simply a brute figure to prove a point. As he moved closer to the cluster they shuffled to the other side, still protecting the woman from his gaze. They moved in this exact manner three more times, and with each, the man’s actions were more forceful until he practically flew off the stage.
When he was gone the mass opened to reveal the woman, now splashed with red, who peered about in worry. Stepping away from the others, her movements were boxier this time. The flute was joined by another wind instrument I couldn’t place that forced the dancers to maneuver at a quicker pace, their bodies meshing closer together as they followed the colourful woman around the stage. As she swung around to the back of the stage bits of her vibrant outfit shed and landed on the others; they held on tightly as the woman led them to the other corner.
A new man slid onto the stage, his clothing made of baggy jet material and upbeat guitars screaming. When he ran toward the mass of dancers a few broke off, turning to face him; their movements were alluring and graceful as they surrounded him. But he twirled, knocking the plain figures and searching every corner for the woman. Jumping to their feet, the other figures chased him about the stage, cartwheeling after his dangerousness. He ran off and was gone, leaving the plain figures to pout around the stage.
Together, the ladies swirled as subtle yellows appeared on the colourful woman. She was suddenly a lot more attractive than any of the other dancer, no matter how their movements flowed together.
But they barely had time to cluster again before another man sauntered onto the stage, tapping his toes to the jazzy beat of brass and piano. As he danced across the stage in a flashy gold suit, a few more of the plain dancers breaking off to follow him closely, and a trumpet took a solo and the stage was alight with the man’s tap routine. Glinting across the stage like he was the star of the show, this man only slowed when the solo ended and the music turned slow again. Looking around despairingly, he bowed his head and moped off. The rest of the company danced wildly to the off-beat classical as blues were added to the mix.
They ladies were back in the corner as the music died down and the last gentleman entered the stage, looking about himself with concern. With a tight-fitting outfit that was splashed with colour, he looked more like a flower than a man. But as he sauntered down the stage, the woman popped her head out of the group, admiring his appearance. Parting to let her leave, the plain dancers swung about as the two main dancers met at center stage, touching hands delicately.
When they began to slowly move, the music followed behind them, catching on partway through. The pace quickened as all the instruments joined in and they danced across the stage like they weren’t human. After a few moments the music hit a fever pitch and all the figures froze.
Suddenly the music died down, the lights faded and the curtain fell. The climactic ending elicited a rousing round of applause. But before the bows, I slipped out the front door; passing a bunch of roses addressed to the granddaughter I never met to a ticket-taker.
Created to Write:
“Okay, so let’s stretch, and then we can get started,” Heather says. She takes off her jacket, stretching her arms out. August tries not to watch her, getting his stretching done.
“So… Do you have the routine we’re going with or…”
Heather stops and looks at him, “What?”
August looks at her, “Well… We need to know the moves in order to work in sync.”
Heather sighs slowly, “Have you ever danced before? Like, really danced?”
August shakes his head.
Heather turns on Extraordinary. She motions he back up. She listens to the melody, then steps. She steps and turns, then arches her back, her foot moving behind her. She straightens into a turn and picks up the tempo. August watches her move smoothly from one move to the next. She moves close to him, almost within arms reach. She smiles, then does a handstand backwards, finishing by landing at the music player to pause the music.
“Dancing doesn’t come solely from knowing the moves. It’s about feeling the music and moving accordingly. And with a partner, you need to be in tune to their movements, just as you are with your own.”
“So… we won’t have a routine?” August asks.
“We’ll figure that out later,” Heather rolls her eyes, “but right now, we need to see how well we work together, and if we are compatible at all. Two people can know a routine perfectly, but dancing together is terrible, just as two people having no routine but be in perfect sync with each other.”
August nods, understanding.
Heather starts the music to play the second verse, “Let’s see how you do.”
August moves over. Heather starts a move. August copies, a few feet away. Heather spins and August moves forward. He comes up behind her and she stretches her arms out. They step forward and Heather spins again. August guides her into another step pattern. Heather leans back and August picks her up. She flips over him and he turns just in time to steady her.
Heather turns around, smiling.
“Not bad for someone who’s never danced before,” she admits. “Ready to try another one?”
“…You think we’re in sync?” August asks, “That felt a little clumsy to me. I almost dropped you and… I might have stepped on your toes.”
“No, we aren’t in sync,” Heather laughs, “but, we can get there, I know it.”
Heather felt it. There’s a flow to his however-sloppy movements that counters and compliments hers.
“Let’s work on it. A lot is riding on this competition. And it’s not like we need to win.”
“Right, we just needed someone on the dance floor,” August says, “it’s the perfect vantage point for looking around the room.”
“We just need to not get voted off,” Heather says.
“Right.” Heather starts the next song, “Let’s pick up the pace a little with Perfect Illusion.”