The Dance Of
Isobelle Carmody Award
for Creative Writing
I rest my head against the window, watching the blurs and smudges
that are other cars passing, and I wonder where they are going. I
wonder at the tranquil state the rain has put me in, sliding down the
glass in droplets that look as fragile as crystal. I imagine myself as that
delicate droplet, gracefully sliding down the cold glass. If only I could
incorporate those delicate droplets’ movements into myself. Maybe
then my mother would really be proud of me…
‘Penny?’ I hear a voice say.
I look up and see my mother staring worriedly at me in the rear
view mirror, creases appearing in her normally smooth, perfect skin
as she raises her eyebrows.
‘I’m fine,’ I mutter, turning away again to stare at the dainty,
elegant dance of the rain, merging together and then falling ever so
quickly down the window. I am unconsciously drifting back to my
earlier thoughts. What could I do to make my mother proud?
Something in the nature of the rain, in its quiet, tranquil beauty. I
have always wanted to dance…
I feel an idea poking at me, illuminated with flashing lightbulbs
and I instantly sit up straight from my normally hunched position.
Who said I couldn’t dance?
‘Mum,’ I start and she nods to signal she is listening, though still not
taking her eyes off the road. ‘Could I… maybe start learning dancing?’
She looks startled but quickly recovers. ‘Why yes, of course! My
friend’s friend’s cousin owns a ballet studio! You could join there! It
is an absolutely elite ballet studio for only the upper class.’
My eyes widen in horror. Ballet? Horrible images of pink tutus and
frilly, lacy clothes flash through my brain. I have been thinking more
along the lines of jazz… I open my mouth to protest but as I look up at
my mum I am helpless as I see the enthusiastic look on her face. I
slump back against the seat again, as she goes on and on about how I
should start straight away so I have less time for dilly-dallying.
I cannot help but turn around and around, looking at everything,
stunned into complete, utter bewilderment and fear at the spacious
studio. It is just a bit too elite. The floors glitter and glow so brightly
that I risk blinding myself looking down. There are chandeliers and
bright, white walls and everywhere I look there are snotty girls
chatting to each other and just being elegant. I look down
halfheartedly at the navy blue leotard I am wearing. I take a deep