Thursday, October 29, 2009

New Beginning 698

The dance combination seemed simple. A few sideways steps, jump and switch feet, then back the other way. Yet when Melissa slid to the side, she stumbled straight into Her Majesty.

"Hey! Watch it, klutz!" With a frown, the girl dusted off her slinky black leotard.

Of all people to bump into, why her? Melissa stammered an apology while she backed away, her face, neck, torso burning. What a way to start at a new studio, colliding into the reigning prima ballerina.

Before class, Her Majesty had dismissed Melissa with a cold sniff. Now the girl scowled at her while she placed her feet back into fifth position.

The ballet teacher, Miss Sylvia, restarted the music. "Let's try that again, girls."

During the rest of class, Melissa stayed across the room from Her Majesty. The other girls kept checking how Her Majesty did the moves and copied her.

After class Melissa wanted to apologize to Her Majesty again, but Her Majesty's consorts swooped in and rushed Her Majesty out of the studio.

Bad enough Her Majesty disguises herself as a twelve-year-old, Melissa thought, but can't Queen Elizabeth afford
private lessons?


Opening: Kathy Scott.....Continuation: Evil Editor

10 comments:

Evil Editor said...

If Melissa knows Her Majesty is the prima ballerina, and encountered her before class, she ought to also know her name by now. Calling her "Her Majesty" once gets your point across, but it's getting old long before the fifth time.

Anonymous said...

Calling her "Her Majesty" once gets your point across, but it's getting old long before the fifth time.

Which is precisely what I said at the last garden party, moments before I, uh, left...

fairyhedgehog said...

I found "Her Majesty" confusing coming so early on when I didn't know what kind of story I was dealing with. I had this picture in my mind of a ball, and the girl bumps into the Queen, and then suddenly there's a black leotard in the equation.

Sarah from Hawthorne said...

I liked this a lot. I thought the "Her Majesty" fake out was clever since to Melissa, the prima ballerina might as well be actual royalty.

One nit-picky thing: if this is a formal ballet class, I'm pretty sure Melissa should be using the French terms for the steps. I took ballet when I was tiny, and right from the kindergarten class the instructor would call this "pas de bourree, jete, changement."

This may be of use: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_ballet

_*Rachel*_ said...

I think Her Majesty once would have gotten the point across. There several things in here that feel like they're said twice.

Dave F. said...

These three sentences say approximately the same thing:

1) Yet when Melissa slid to the side, she stumbled straight into Her Majesty.
2) Of all people to bump into, why her?
3)What a way to start at a new studio, colliding into the reigning prima ballerina.


This is your introduction to the heroine (Melissa) and maybe her antagonist (the Queen). Take a sentence to set the scene, describe why they are together and hint at why this is important to the story.

So far what you have is a good hook --- commoner who later saves queen (maybe?) knocks her on her butt in ballet class.

Is there an age difference here? I think of queens as old and ballet students as young. Is this an adult class? Are they staging a production or merely dancing for pleasure? This must be the first time they are in the ballet class together. That's implied, isn't it. Melissa is nervous and clumsy because of it.

Why is this meeting important?

Anonymous said...

sideways steps
slid to the side
stumbled straight

The alliteration isn't working for me.

Yet when
With a frown
Before class
During the rest of

For me too many sentences begin with a preposition.

"With a frown, the girl dusted off her slinky black leotard." (As a dialogue tag this doesn't work for me. It feels like it belongs to the paragraph below. )

Melissa stammered an apology while she backed away, her face, neck, torso burning. (because of the comma after away the this list is confusing. Also I'm not sure why the torso is burning? Do you mean shoulders?)

"What a way to start at a new studio, colliding into the reigning prima ballerina." What does start a new studio mean? Yes I know what you meant to say but the way the sentence is written it doesn't mean that.

"The other girls kept checking how Her Majesty did the moves and copied her." This isn't clear for me. Try

The other girls copied her Majesty's technique.

150 said...

Hello again. :)

Anonymous said...

Good idea for a story. I know from my daughter there is (are?) tons of angst in dance class.

I'd prefer the word "mimic" rather than copy when it comes to imitation of her majesty's moves. It makes it more of a sycophant thing.

Mimicking the peer leader is very common in these classes, and it's hilarious to watch when the peer leader is doing it wrong in the first place (not that I can usually tell).

Keep at it author, nice work.

...dave conifer

Anonymous said...

Melissa stammered an apology while she backed away, her face, neck, torso burning. (because of the comma after away the this list is confusing...)

It's literally years later, but to make this point for those still reading (as I am!): the comma after "away" is correct.