I walked barefoot as I crossed the cobblestone floored courtyard of the school. The trees around me cast large shadows in the light of the setting sun. It was almost 9pm as I neared the door that I had propped open; I slowed to make sure no one was watching me.
Once inside I quickly walked towards my locker where I had my laptop waiting. With my computer under my arm, I made my way to the studio, and just as I had left it that afternoon, the door was slightly ajar. I closed the door and flipped the light switch. As I did, the dance studio laid itself out before me. The polished hardwood floors, the wall of mirrors, the bar along the back wall, it all looked so enchanting.
Ever since my arrival at the performing arts school two weeks ago, I had been trying to figure out how I was going to get into the studio. Only dance majors were permitted into this studio or any of the others for that matter; I majored in acting, and I was specifically instructed not to set foot in any of the dance studios. I listened, but I didn’t care.
I set my laptop on the table in the corner, and loaded up my Cascada play list; “Hurricane” was the first song to play. As the music began filling the room, I peeled off my jeans and t-shirt to reveal running shorts and a tank top. My shoes were already off; I intended to dance in my socks.
I stretched well before I began to dance. By the time I got started dancing, “Every Time We Touch” was vibrating through the speakers. I shifted my feet across the floor to the rhythm, and my arms followed in a flowing pattern to match the movements of my legs. I had already crafted a routine to this song, so I moved to the beat with practiced ease.
When it ended, I centered myself in the middle of the room and began pushing my legs to move to the fast, rugged tempo of “Endless Summer.” The song ended as I slowly pulled my legs together. The next song was “Truly Madly Deeply.” The intro was several notes hit on a piano, then a slight crescendo into the lyrics.
I pushed my legs apart as I slid to the floor to spin myself back up like an ice-skater in slow motion. When I got back to my toes I slowly spun with my arms out, my eyes closed, and my head flung back. My arms were caught and held as I felt myself being led across the floor. I jerked my head up with a start, but my partner didn’t miss a beat as he spun me around. After a full turn, he had his arm back around my waist and was leading me around the studio. I was so startled that it took me until the ballad of the song to stop dancing.
“What are you doing?” I asked as I pulled away from him. An amused expression played through his emerald green eyes and across his sun-kissed face. His curly, shaggy hair hung over his forehead. It was long enough that if I had pulled on one of the curls, it would probably have been about three inches long.
“Me? What are you doing?” “Truly Madly Deeply” ended and “I Can’t Stand It” started pouring out of the speakers.
I stumbled over my words as the lyrics, “I can’t stand it anymore now baby. The music makes me feel so crazy, so come on and take my hand, and I’ll show you that we can dance!” filled the studio.
“I’m dancing, and you?” I stared at him as he smiled at me.
“I’m trying to dance with an actress, but she doesn’t seem interested,” he replied with that smile.
If he wanted to play it that way, then so be it. “Maybe she’d like to know her partner’s name before they danced.”
“Fair enough, my name is Zander,” he spoke as he bowed deeply to her. “And you?”
“My name is Alicia,” I answered as I curtsied and extended my hand to him. He took it and spun me to him as the music carried on. Forty-five minutes later we left the studio and went to our dorms for the night. We didn’t speak while we danced, but I learned that he must have been a dance major, for he moved with such fluidity that I had a little trouble keeping up.
Although I knew his major and his name, which I thought was a feat all in itself, I don’t think he needed me to tell him my name.