Fiction: 'Impertinent Dancer'

This is a regular column featuring original poetry and fiction by and for teens, provided by Figment.com, an online community writing site for young people.

By Taralei Griffin

The stage is still dark. My heart is beating faster and faster as I wait for the curtain to part and the lights to go up. This will be my biggest show ever – but it is also my first.

It will also be my finale.

I hear the whoosh of the curtains being pulled apart, and the lights begin to grow brighter in my eyes. They grow bright so quickly that I cannot see the audience at all. Good. I don’t want to see the expressions on their faces.

The haunting music begins. My arms rise almost of their own accord out to my sides, and I twirl. I feel as if I am floating. I feel my golden gown swirl about my legs, and I laugh as I begin my intricate dance routine. I can tell the audience is confused by the sound of their murmurs. The program reads that I am supposed to be dancing the foxtrot with a very famous ballroom dancing man, and everyone is wondering what is going on. This was to be my debut into the world of ballroom dancing fame.

The music begins to rise in a crescendo, and my feet begin to move faster, my movements grow wider and less deliberate. I am now a wild woman. I hear strangled gasps from the women in the crowd.

At the very height of the crescendo, a black man in a stylish tuxedo walks out onto the stage. He takes me into his arms, and the music is suddenly a foxtrot. We begin to do the dance everyone came to see me do – but with someone decidedly different.

I beam broadly into his eyes, and he smiles gently at me as we whirl gracefully about the stage. The crowd is in an uproar. I hear voices shouting, “What is a man such as that doing here,” and, “This is not what we came for! Refund us now!”

The crowd may have wanted to see someone different than my current dance partner dance the foxtrot with me, but this is my true partner – my true love. And I have decided that people are going to have to accept it.

We continue to dance, as if oblivious to the angry crowd. But when they become mob-like, my partner begins to steer me towards backstage – all the while continuing the dance. The music has ended, but we continue to dance our way off stage and out the back of the theatre, where my partner sweeps me into his arms and twirls in a circle with me, and I lean my head back and laugh freely.