In the limelight

(February 11): This shy little dancer has been dancing for fifteen years. In all that time, she has plotted and schemed and carefully managed to side-step cameras or any kind of dance-attention.

One day (a peculiar day when the wind was blowing in the wrong direction and the stars were all tangled and back-to-front) she put her shyness aside and volunteered to join a Rio Rhythmics’ choreography team. It did not go well. Through all the training, the shy little dancer’s shyness grew (and grew) (as big as an ocean) and when the conversations about costumes started, when she suddenly found herself volunteered for a role play (despite her very best efforts to BLEND), she found herself thinking back on her most memorable nervous occasion (when she had lost her voice while public speaking). She packed up her dance slippers and quietly withdrew.

She had escaped. (Or so she thought.)

The shy little dancer


The shy little dancer had underestimated the mighty heart and mountainous determination of a quietly observing (and infinitely sweet-tempered) Mary, newest addition to the Rio Rhythmics teaching team.

“I would like to be your leader in a choreography,” Mary told the shy little dancer.
“Oh,” the shy little dancer said.
“You pick which one,” Mary said.
“Uh-huh,” said the shy little dancer, as her panic-butterflies fluttered on technicolour wings.
“Let’s make it one of the more difficult ones, so we can really achieve,” Mary said, cleverly.

The shy little dancer’s jaw dropped.

With that one word, Mary called out the dancer-career-person living side-by-side with the shy little dancer, the two of them squeezed together in a single self. The dancer-career-person (who had been sleeping at the time) heard just one word: “achieve”. A challenge! she thought delightedly. She leaped onto her magnificent white charger (always on stand-by) and adjusted her lance. As she gathered up her reins and cast about for dance-problems to be vanquished, the dancer-career-person gave the shy little dancer a stern talking-to. It went like this:
“Come on now!” (The dancer-career-person can be very bossy.) “Forget this shy, don’t-look-at-me guff! You know what to do! Goals! Learnings! Practice! Tactics! And Mary as leader! What more could you want? You’ll do this! And, what’s more, you’re going to write about it. A weekly blog. Everything that happens. Got it?” (The dancer-career-person’s charger pranced and blew and tossed its glorious white mane.)

“Got it,” the shy little dancer whispered. And bit her lip.

And so. This shy little dancer (a.k.a. Linda Brucesmith) has enrolled to perform as part of Juliana and Rafael’s zouk choreography at Rio Rhythmics’ 25th Anniversary Ball on June 29.

This is the first installment of the story of the shy little dancer’s first dance performance.

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