Excerpts from Dancing on the Inside

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Excerpt from Page 11

“Please come and join us,” said Madame Beaufort.

In a small, panicky whisper, Jenny replied, “I can’t.”

Madame Beaufort looked into Jenny’s eyes and seemed torecognize that something was seriously the matter. She squatteddown and whispered, “What’s wrong, Jenny?”

Jenny couldn’t explain. She wasn’t entirely sure herself. All sheknew was that she couldn’t budge from her spot—and thatshe wished she could make herself disappear.

“Please,” she said, “can I just sit here for a while?”

“Are you not feeling well?” Madame Beaufort asked kindly.

“Your mother might still be in the lounge. If she is, would youlike me to get her?”

“No,” Jenny said at once. The last thing she wanted was moreattention. “Please, can I just sit here and watch? I won’t make asound. Can I?”

Madame Beaufort looked concerned but also a bit uncertain.She seemed to be weighing the situation in her mind. She put ahand momentarily on Jenny’s forehead. “Do you feel like you’regoing to be sick?” she asked.

“Yes. I mean, no,” said Jenny. “I’ll be okay if I just sit for a while.”

“All right,” Madame Beaufort decided. “But let me know if itgets worse.”

“I will,” Jenny whispered.

Excerpt from Page 70

As she was getting ready for bed that night, Jenny bent down and picked up a pair of pyjamas that had fallen on the floor—without bending her knees. Straightening, she suddenly realized that, two months ago, she couldn’t have done that. She looked down at her legs, which had been firmed by hundreds of rélevés. She had changed in these past two months. And yet, she was just beginning. How much more was there to discover? How much further could she change if she had the chance?

There was something missing in her. A hole that dance promised to fill. It had called to her that first time she saw the DVD of Swan Lake, and it was calling even more strongly now.

Jenny decided that somehow she had to get back into that studio, and with her parents blessing next time. She didn’t know exactly how to do it. She just knew she would.

Excerpt from Page 106

Ara, when she danced her way, was all spontaneity and surprise. She excelled at allegro—fast movements that she could throw herself into (sometimes a little too literally). She was as fluid and thrilling to watch as the otters Jenny used to see playing along the frozen shore of the lake by her old home. Veronique, on the other hand, danced with the mechanical precision of a music box doll. Her strength lay in adagio, slow, precise, graceful movements that required intense concentration, strength, and balance. Both girls were great, in their own way.

So far, Jenny had focused on helping Ara develop Veronique's level of precision and control. But if Ara lost the enthusiasm that made her great, would she be better or worse in the end? How could one dancer become like the other, without losing the thing that made her great on her own?

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