Tag Archives: ballet

1534: Ballroom dancing

(The opening sentence for this story was suggested by nananoyz of Praying for Eyebrowz.  If you want to join in the fun of suggesting a future opening sentence for these stories, click here for a peek as to what’s what.)

Jane’s biggest regret in life was that she’d never danced. To be honest, she wasn’t exactly Swan Lake material.

No that’s not what I meant, said Jane. I was not thinking of ballet. I was thinking more of ballroom dancing.

In fact, Jane wasn’t thinking exactly of ballroom dancing either. She was thinking more of how lovely it would be to be in the arms of one of those male dance partners one sees on television. One of them could fling her all over the place, and then they would dance on and on and on. In fact they would dance into the sunset. They would fall in love and get married and have a pile of kids. And the handsome ballroom dancer would come home from a day of working to support his wife and children, and before the wonderful dinner she had prepared they would dance a quick foxtrot in the living room. Yes, that’s really what Jane wanted. Not simply a dance, but a dancer.

And then she went to the parish ball, and it was very bright and lovely with coloured lights and a wonderful band. And Jane sat against a wall on a long form next to another person who was also a wallflower. And then Jane saw a man approach. He was very handsome indeed. Jane’s heart kind of fluttered, but he asked the girl next to her for the dance. And Jane smiled like she was really enjoying the occasion but in truth she wanted to cry.

Then quite suddenly there was a man’s voice next to her. She never saw him approach.

“Would you like to dance?” he said. “I know people might think it silly but I’d love it if you would dance with me.”

Jane said “Yes!” and she and Mervyn (for that was his name) danced the whole night away. The things Mervyn could do in his wheel chair! Backwards, forwards, spins and slides. You wouldn’t believe what a show-off he was! Quite frankly, Jane lost all respectability and danced like there was no tomorrow. They were named the “couple of the ball” and stole the show with their celebration jive.

That was over forty-five years ago. Mervyn is long dead. But Jane delights in teaching her grandchildren how to dance. No! No! Not ballet. Ballroom dancing.

604. The last dance

© Bruce Goodman 6 June 2015


Iris was one of the most renowned ballerinas of her time. Crowds flocked to her performances. Tickets to see her sold on the black market for astronomical prices. Iris could dance with a bunch of clodhoppers and make it look stunning.

Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Giselle, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, Firebird, La Bayadere, Coppelia, La Sylphide, Peter Pan, Le Sacre du Printemps… Iris had danced them all. She had raised the bar. She had driven the standard of production to new heights. There wasn’t a country that hadn’t lauded her with medals.

And now she was to give her final performance. Tickets sold out months ahead. The stage was set. The overture began.

Iris entered. She wandered aimlessly around the stage. She looked at this and that. At one point she spied the audience. She gave a little wave. She meandered a little further here, a little there. She wandered off. The music petered out. No one clapped. Audience members were either angry or in tears. The theatre offered a refund.

It was a spectacular end to a stunning career. She had danced the most profound dance ever.