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Tiny Dancers; First ballet lesson
Topic Started: May 16 2015, 10:04 PM (733 Views)
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Ballet is hard.

A five-year-old Bridgette sighed, sitting against the wall with her legs splayed out in front of her. Her first ballet lesson had just ended, and now she was waiting with the other kids for her father to pick her up. Dad said he was going to run a little late, since he had to pick up Evelyn first from a friend's house. He wouldn't be too late, he promised when he dropped Bridgette off. She just had to be patient.

And so she was. Bridgette unzipped the small bag her father packed for her, taking out a towel and a water bottle. She wiped her face on the towel before taking a sip, glancing around the room. She saw the other kids talking and chatting with each other, some leaving as their parents picked them up. Bridgette didn't feel like joining the conversation. She looked down at the bag in her lap, undoing her ponytail and twirling a strand of hair with a finger.

Bridgette was looking forward to this. She wanted to do ballet for as long as she could remember, and her father was supportive enough to enroll her in lessons. It was a lot harder than she expected: Bridgette was energetic, but not as energetic as other kids her age. She had a lot of trouble with flexibility, and she couldn't hold the poses as long as the other kids. Her teacher was encouraging, telling her she'd improve and she'd get better in no time.

For now, though, Bridgette just felt discouraged.
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Imehal
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Delightful chaos swelled the room’s volume via sound and movement, as friends said goodbye to friends and then dashed to greet parents come to collect them. It filled a dance hall within which you could have heard a pin drop only ten minutes before with such infectious vitality. This was Bernadette’s least favourite part of her classes, but she still wore a broad smile as she waved at friends, hoisting her little backpack onto her shoulders with a chocolate bar in hand. Though she was eager to tell her dad all about her class, she knew she had a little while to wait. That meant finding something to do in the interim beyond eating chocolate and staring into space.

Something, Bernadette decided after a quick look around the room, ended up being crouching beside a girl who was far too quiet at the end of a lovely ballet class. Without thinking she snapped her small treat in half, smiling as she let herself slide down the mirrored wall to plop down beside Bridgette, chocolate piece outstretched to her in offering.

“Dad says you need water and something salty after exercising, but mum always slips me chocolate too. Want some?”
Edited by Imehal, May 17 2015, 09:14 AM.
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Another girl sat next to her, which was odd. The girl then offered her chocolate, which was also odd. Her mother had always warned against taking candy from strangers, but she was usually talking about adults. Taking this girl's offering wouldn't hurt her, would it?

Bridgette nodded, taking the piece of chocolate with a hand. "Thank you," She murmured, nibbling on the chocolate. For a moment there was silence. She wasn't good at talking to people, having only her siblings for company for her entire life up to this point. They weren't the best company: they'd bicker and brush her off when she tried to talk to them and poke fun at her from time to time. That's what it was like to be the youngest.

But she figured that she should be nice to the kind girl who gave her chocolate, and the first step was introducing herself.

She turned to the girl and smiled. "My name's Bridgette. What's yours?"
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Imehal
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“Bernadette!”

Well, that had been what she was going to say to Bridgette, but one of the girls had beat her to it. Her focus shifted momentarily, waving at the departing student enthusiastically before turning back to her new friend.

“That’s my name. Bernadette.” Then she took another bite of her piece of chocolate, thinking a little and enjoying the sweet taste before swallowing. “Hey, Bridgette. Do you normally come here? To this class?”
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Bridgette shook her head. "No. This is my first time." She replied, popping the last piece of chocolate into her mouth. She washed it down with a water bottle before putting it in her bag.

"It's pretty hard, though."
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Imehal
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That explained that then, especially when Bernadette was sure she knew everyone in this class by name – or tried to anyway. She carefully wrapped up what was left of her chocolate after a quick glance at the clock, not wanting to get in trouble for it. As an extra measure she carefully wiped at her mouth with two fingers and a thumb, smiling all the while.

“Mhmm,” she agreed noncommittally, “you get more used to it, I guess. Extra so if you like it a lot! What made you wanna learn?”
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Why? Bridgette's mind went back to the television, her eyes transfixed on the ballerina dancing across the stage. She was in awe, and she wanted to be just like the elegant dancer on-screen.

She shrugged and looked at Bernadette. "I saw someone do ballet, and I wanted to do it too. How about you?"
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Imehal
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There was contented silence between them as her new friend recollected, but Bernadette missed the wistful look to Bridgette’s eyes, waiting patiently. Rewarded she smiled, nodding enthusiastically. “Yeah, I get it! Mum and dad brought me here after loads of other boring places. Watching people dance was the best though.”

No need to mention that she had cried and cried until her parents had signed her up for some classes at the age of three. Definitely not. “Well, I watched you and you did really well for the first day. It’ll get easier too, promise! Or you’ll get more used to it. I forget which comes first...”

It was quieter in the hall now, with only a few children and their parents lingering alongside the two girls and the dance teachers. The clock hands said it was quarter past the hour now.
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"Thank you," Bridgette said, smiling. She may have been discouraged, but Bernadette's kind words were enough to brighten her up a little bit. She liked her. The other girl had tried a bunch of other things, and that intrigued her. "Other boring places, huh? Like what?" She asked, glancing around the room.

There weren't a lot of kids left around. Most of them had left, picked up by their parents. Where was her dad? He should've been here by now. "Where is he?" She muttered under her breath as she turned back to Bernadette.
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Imehal
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“Running, soccer... baseball too. Gym too, which was okay.” Bernadette pulled her arms around her knees, sighing loudly. “But dancing is pretty, and mum said I could do it!”

This had been after karate had been ruled out by her mother, which had caused three days of sulking and tantrums that only ended when they had visited this dance studio. Gymnastics had been a miss for various reasons, but Bernadette (though she would not recall) clean forgot about karate the second she watched other girls her age and older dance. Though her young mind would not have been able to grasp entirely why, the elegant movements in the long mirrored rooms had instantly caught her love for detail and beautiful things.

She had instantly been hooked, and even as Bridgette let her attention be drawn away Bernadette thought that the other girl would fall in love with it too. The door at the other end of the room squeaked open, and her gaze jerked in that direction but another mother came in to pick up one of the remaining children without a parent.

“I guess it is just you and me left, huh.” Bernadette braced a hand against the mirror behind her to stand, hoisting her backpack onto one shoulder, then the other quickly. Then she smiled, eyes bright with mischief. “Wanna see if we can sneak outside and wait? Better than being cooped up in here on a nice day.”
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"That was a lot of things," Bridgette was amazed at how many things this girl had tried before settling on ballet. She quietly wondered if this would just be another thing on her list, though it didn't seem like it. Bernadette seemed dedicated to dance, but then again, Bridgette didn't know how enthusiastic she was for all those other activities at first...

Oh. Bridgette looked around the room as Bernadette pointed out the distinct lack of other children in the room. That was true. She looked up as the other girl stood, inviting her outside. Was that allowed? She wasn't sure herself, but she figured it wouldn't hurt to follow her outside. Besides, maybe she'd be able to spot her dad sooner than if she'd stayed inside.

"Sure..." She replied, reaching for her bag. She glanced over at the instructor by the door, waving at the last kid as they left with their parents. Bernadette said they'd sneak out, but how would they get past the instructor? Bridgette stood, scooping up her bag and hoisting it over her shoulder.

"Should we go now?"
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Imehal
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A glance up to the long line of windows in the centre of the flat ceiling of the building revealed that it was too nice a day to be cooped up inside if it was not needed. Bernadette grinned at Bridgette’s agreement, mind already coming up with half a dozen ways to get out of the room. They might have been good too, had they not been concocted by a six year old.

Their instructor kept an eye on them as she moved over to the other side of the room, gathering up the borrowed towels into a plastic box. There was about ten feet between them, her and the door respectively, so naturally the best option was to-

“Run!” Bernadette whispered, grabbing Bridgette’s hand as she ran for the door. She just got it open, ignored the shout of protest, turned the corner to head for the stairwell... and then barrelled into legs, letting go of her new friend’s hand to rub her forehead gingerly. “Ow!”
Edited by Imehal, Jun 5 2015, 10:44 PM.
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They hadn't made it far before they were stopped. Bridgette almost tripped when Bernadette stopped, stumbling as the other girl winced. They'd run into someone. Bridgette tried to regain her balance and instinctively looked up to see that they'd run into a portly middle-aged man. It was...

"Dad?"

Her father smiled down at her "Bridgette!" He greeted, pulling her into a tight hug. "Sorry that I'm a little late. Bad traffic, and things got complicated while picking up Evelyn," He let her go, nodding at Bernadette. "So I see I've run into a friend of yours, or she ran into me." He chuckled. "Who's she?"

Bridgette straightened up. "Oh. Dad, this is Bernadette," she turned to her, smiling. "This is my dad." She told her.
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Imehal
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Whilst that had not been one of the best introductions to a new friend’s father ever, Bernadette did not seem to let it faze her beyond the few moments it took her to get past the surprise and mild pain. Then she smiled brightly up at the stranger, all sincerity and apology. “I’m sorry for running into you. It’s nice to meet you.”

The quick footsteps of the instructor could be heard rounding the corner behind them, and that could only mean bad things if they were caught with Bridgette’s dad observing. “We... I... Go. I should-“

She leaned into Bridgette, whispering quickly. “I’ll take the blame." Her eyes darted back down the way to the studio. “Go home with your dad before it’s too late.”
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Bridgette's heart almost dropped when she heard the instructor coming for them. She didn't need a lecture today, so the mouthed a quick 'thank you' to Bernadette before turning to her dad. "Well, should we be going?"

Her father checked his watch. "Actually, yeah. We're expected at home, so we'd better skedaddle." He took her hand and nodded at Bernadette. "It was nice meeting you, Bernadette."

Bridgette waved as they left, making their way out of the building and into the parking lot.

"You can tell me all about your first lesson on the way home, sweetie."
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