Monday, January 30, 2012

Jessypt Week 89: Floating


Picture 1

Picture 2

Jessypt's Choice: Picture 2


Maria watches herself in the mirror as she feels the music take over. With her eyes closed she loses herself in the feel of her muscles contracting and burning with exertion. As the music begins to build, she launches herself into the air, timing her gorgeous jete perfectly with the climax. Her feet hit the ground on the downbeat, and the exhilaration she feels is overwhelming.

This is what she has always enjoyed about dancing. She can be carefree, can allow her body and the music to communicate in a silent conversation to which only she is privy.

With each pulsing beat or slide of the violin’s bow, she allows the music to carry her away.
As the music changes to the piece she and Marcus worked on the day before, she closes her eyes, takes a deep breath, and gets into position. She extends her arms, one in front and the other behind, and gracefully moves across the dance floor, perfectly in step and as if Marcus were beside her.

She imagines his hand resting on her waist, the other resting just below her extended arm. With each note, her movements are succinct yet graceful. She can visualize herself on the stage, the black abyss of the audience in front of her, and she feels the familiar dancer’s high.

She feels alive. Passionate. Ravished by the music.

When the music comes to a close, only her breath and the sound of two hands clapping can be heard. She whirls around to see Jared, her coach, standing in the doorway, a huge smile across his face.

“Well done, dear one,” he says, pushing off the frame and walking toward her. He stops in front of her and presses an affectionate kiss to her damp forehead.

“Truly, Maria, that was your best performance of this piece to date.”

She beams at his compliment and silently chuffs that she did it without Marcus’ help. After spending fifteen years with Jared as her private instructor, she knows he doesn’t dole out unmerited praise. “Thank you, Jared.”

“Will you dance with me?” he asks, extending his hand.

Maria does not hesitate. It is rare she has the opportunity to dance with him, and she will gladly use this as a chance to learn from the best.

“I’d love to.”

He squeezes her hand and then releases it to restart the music. In position, Maria feels Jared grip her waist, just as she imagines Marcus would.

As the music starts, she lifts her leg, gracefully swirls her arms, and leans away from him. He pulls her back against him, effortlessly assisting her in the air and moving with her across the dance floor. Down on one knee he releases her as she floats away, pirouetting once then twice and landing on one knee. Together they move seamlessly, Maria lost in Jared’s strength and power.

By the time the music comes to a close, Maria is panting from exertion, and sweat is glistening on her face. She has always loved the music, but nothing could have prepared her for the way it feels to move like that.

Jared stares at her as she dabs a towel across her nose, cheeks, and forehead.

“That is what it should feel like, my dear. I chose you for this part for a reason. You have to feel it, even if your partner doesn’t.”

Maria nods, feeling uncharacteristically overwhelmed and too choked up to speak. Jared is right. While she feels nothing but fatherly affection for him, she saw just how powerful her own movements could be when she allows her body to move and her soul to swallow the music.

As he turns to leave, Maria reaches out and touches his arm. “Thank you,” she manages to whisper.

He stares at her for a second longer. “Get some rest.”

Maria watches him walk out the door, and for the first time in a long time she smiles.