Indigo Ballet Series, #2
by Grier Cooper
Publication date: April 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
can she take control of her own future to create the life she wants?
Indigo is living the life she’s always imagined at the famed New York School of Ballet. Or is she? Although she hopes she’ll be chosen for the company, her ballet teachers aren’t talking and their silence is confusing.
When Indigo is singled out for a coveted solo she feels her dreams are finally within reach, until she finds out she’s dancing with Felipe Gonzalez, the school’s smolderingly hot rising star. In the days that follow, Indigo questions everything she thought was true and finds herself making surprising choices.
After a fateful piece of paper reveals the truth, Indigo must ask herself the hardest question of all: can she take control of her own future to create the life she wants?
Madame Z cranes her head, looking for someone. “Brianna, dahlink, come to me.” Brianna is always first to be placed. She's the star of our class and the best dancer I've ever seen. It's not enough that she's gorgeous, with long auburn hair, perfect skin and legs that go up to her chin. She's also incredibly nice, which makes it impossible to hate her.
Five more dancers are placed, including Nikki, who slinks past me with a knowing smirk. My heart sinks further each time I'm not chosen. I stare at my feet for comfort. Madame Z's selection process always makes me feel bad. It's like waiting to be chosen for grade school team sports all over again, misfits and losers last. Only it's much worse here because my future depends on it.
“ Eendigo.” I snap to attention when I hear my name. “Come to me here.” Madame Z gestures for me to stand in the middle. Of the fourth row.
I take my spot while she finishes assigning groups and questions erupt in my mind like a flock of irate, clucking hens. Why am I only in the fourth row? And more importantly: What do I have to do to get in the front row?
I'm still trying to figure out the answers when I realize Madame Z has begun demonstrating the next combination. I shake my head and my brain goes quiet. Luckily I'm a quick learner so I know what I'm doing when it's time for my row to go. All the other bodies in the room fade into the background as mine becomes precise machinery, dialed into the tempo. I will my leg higher, push my body to go further. Give more. Give all.
Madame Z starts jumps at exactly 11:18. Maggie and I lock eyes. She points at the clock and cocks a knowing look at me. We have an ongoing bet about what time Madame Z will start jumps–it’s always somewhere around 45 minutes before class ends, which is about double the time any other teacher makes us jump. I roll my eyes. I’ve lost the bet again today.
Twenty minutes later we’re on to the best part of class for me. I love big jumps most of all–those huge leaps where we defy gravity and fly across the room. But it's the moments in between these exercises–when the other group is dancing and my group has to stand and watch–that my resolve waivers. I watch Brianna and wonder if I'll ever be anywhere near the dancer she is. I wonder why we're even in the same class. Her cabrioles are insanely perfect, delicate yet powerful. She flies across the room when she grand jetés.
How can I compare myself to her? I can't.
This is why I'm pretty sure that even though I'm putting every fiber of my being into this class, it's not enough.
Author InfoGrier began ballet lessons at age five and left home at fourteen to study at the School of American Ballet in New York. She has performed on three out of seven continents with companies such as San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, totaling more than thirty years of experience as a dancer, teacher and performer.Her work has been praised as “poignant and honest” with “emotional hooks that penetrate deeply.” She writes and blogs about dance in the San Francisco Bay Area and has interviewed and photographed a diverse collection dancers and performers including Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, Glen Allen Sims and Jessica Sutta. She is the author of Build a Ballerina Body and The Daily Book of Photography.Author Links: