Are my knees straight? Am I pulled up enough? Those were the questions that entered Sophie's mind. I wonder how Lars class is doing? Is he thinking about me? Those were the questions that entered Carson's mind. Does my mom know what Bianca's like? Does Bianca hate this as much as I do? Those were the thoughts that entered Meredith's mind. Should I paint my nails red or light pink? I wonder if Ian noticed me at the party the other night? Those were the questions that entered Cassie's mind. Their feet could be moving a mile a minute yet these thoughts would remain.
Finally they finished up their barre exercises and proceeded to work on practicing and learning choreography for Sleeping Beauty. A room that had just been full of indifferent faces was now brimming with faces of anticipation. Everyone was eager to know who would get what role, and learning choreography for the group dances meant individual roles would be announced shortly.
Some people thought the roles of the Lilac fairy, the Peach fairy, and the Pink fairy would be given to Tiffany Hunter, Lexi Baldwin, and Erin Lockhart. They were all seniors. Everyone liked them and they were good at charming teachers. They were great apart, but astounding together. They were like pizza, you could eat it without the cheese but it wouldn't be the same. And of course we all knew who would play Prince Christopher. That would be Dean Klein. He was a junior, and had been taking dance classes since he was seven and was the only boy at Windsor Falls Dance Academy. He had a little sister Beth, she was nine and took dance there as well. But the role that everyone was speculating about was Aurora. Everyone had a different opinion on who would get it. A few people thought it would be someone close to the teachers. Maybe Holly or June, or even Olivia. Others dismissed that theory since it was so obvious. Most likely it would be a kiss-up like Natalie or Bianca, teachers for some reason couldn't see past their false admiration to their ice cold glares.
The music ceased and Mrs.Nora told everyone to take a two minute water break. Everyone hurried out to the hall to retrieve their water bottles. Some lingered in the halls, checking their phones, fixing their hair. While other returned as quickly as they had left.
When the last student had wandered in Mrs.Nora and Mrs.Emma gathered everyone at the front of the room and told them to sit down. "First of all thank you all for putting so much effort in, I can really see you all improving greatly" said Mrs.Nora. "So now for some announcements I'm sure y'all have been itching to hear. The casting announcements" said Mrs.Emma. Everyone clapped, holding their breath. "Okay, let's start with the role of the Pink fairy. The Pink fairy is Erin Lockhart" announced Mrs.Nora. They all clapped, not at all surprised. "The role of the Peach fairy goes to Lexi Baldwin" announced Mrs.Emma. They clapped again. The next would be the Lilac Fairy, and everyone was sure it would be Tiffany Hunter. "The role of the Lilac fairy goes to Carson Manning" said Mrs.Nora. People still clapped, but this time with shocked expressions. At first they turned to look at Carson, then they all strained to look at Tiffany. They weren't sure if they should be happy for Carson, or sad for Tiffany. It wasn't that they thought Carson didn't deserve the role, it was just a little unexpected. "The role of Carabosse goes to Olivia Webb" announced Mrs.Emma. They clapped again, relieved to have something change their thought pattern. "The role of the Bluebird goes to Holly Hamilton" said Mrs.Nora. They were a little shocked that she wouldn't be Aurora. "The role of Red Riding Hood goes to Bianca Scavo" said Mrs.Nora. They clapped, most of them rolling their eyes. "The role of Puss 'N' Boots goes to Tiffany Hunter" said Mrs.Emma. They clapped, all of them turning their heads to see how Tiffany would react. "The role of Prince Christopher goes to Dean Klein" said Mrs.Nora. Like they even needed to announce that. "And the role of Aurora goes to, drumroll please" said Mrs.Emma, prolonging their anticipation. They pounded their hands on the floor. "Sophie Duvall" said Mrs.Emma. That was the biggest shocker of all. Even Sophie was stunned. Sure she was talented, probably one of the best dancers they had, but talent rarely had anything to do with with casting the ballet. "Now that we have all the roles announced here is the list of the understudies! Natalie Cooper will understudy the Lilac fairy, Lauren Jones, the Pink fairy; June Hamilton, the Peach fairy; Meredith Davis, the Bluebird; Cassie Montgomery, Carabosse; Mandy Taylor, Red Riding Hood; Samantha Jones, Puss 'N' Boots; Holly Hamilton, Princess Aurora" said Mrs.Nora. "As for the roles of the king and queen Mrs.Nora and her husband will play those" said Mrs.Emma. "We don't have an understudy for Prince Christopher yet but I'm trying to get my son to agree to it" said Mrs.Nora. Mrs.Emma glanced up at the clock. "Well I think we are out of time, goodnight ladies and gentleman" said Mrs.Emma. They all bowed and scurried out of the studio.
"May I have this dance princess?" teased Dean. "Oh of course!" replied Sophie. They waltzed through the hall, noses in the air. "Awww aren't y'all just the cutest couple" exclaimed Carson. "Well I guess a fairy would know! Congratulations by the way!" replied Sophie. "Thank you, thank you" said Carson, pretending to blush. Sophie plopped down on the floor and started to take off her ballet shoes and put on her monogrammed hoodie and sweatpants.
Then came Olivia, sneaking up on Carson as she took a sip from her water bottle, causing her to spill it. "Olivia!" shouted Carson. Carson quickly headed into the bathroom, looking for paper towels. "Sorry!" Olivia yelled with an apologetic expression. "So good job on getting the role of Aurora" said Olivia. "Thanks! I was pretty surprised. Congratulations on Carabosse" replied Sophie. "Why thank you" said Olivia. Carson came rushing back in the hall, drier this time. "Sorry about that" said Olivia. "It's okay, at least it wasn't hot coffee". They all laughed. "Carson! Can I talk to you a minute? About your solo" inquired Mr.Lars. He was standing the office door way. "Yeah sure!" said Carson. "I'll see y'all tomorrow". Carson sauntered into the office, Mr.Lars closing it behind her. They stared at the door as though if they stared long enough they could hear them. "Man! I sure wish Mr.Lars was doing my solo" Olivia said twirling her hair in her hands. "Well I guess I'll see you tomorrow" said Sophie, gathering her things. "See ya" exclaimed Olivia.
Instead of staying in the office Lars led her into the empty studio. "Congratulations Lilac fairy" he said as he brushed her hair behind her ear. "Thanks! Like you didn't know" replied Carson. "What? Me? Okay maybe I knew, but I didn't have anything to do with it! That, that was all you" said Lars. She beamed at him and he leaned in and kissed her. Sure things were complicated, but it was all worth it. Other guys just didn't understand her like Lars. He was sweet, an amazing dancer obviously, funny, and was the only guy she knew that would admit to loving musicals. "I will see you tomorrow, don't miss me too much!" said Carson. "Maybe we could meet up before class" suggested Lars. "I'd love to! Your place at 4:30?" replied Carson. "Sounds like a plan babe" he said kissing her forehead. She walked out of the studio in a dreamlike haze, which was broken by Natalie.
"Well, well, well, what do we have here" quipped Natalie. "Aren't you a natural comedian" snapped Carson. "I saw you" said Natalie. Carson was on edge now. "Just what exactly did you see?" questioned Carson. "The real question here is what didn't I see" said Natalie, circling Carson. "What do you want?" asked Carson. "Oh just for you to step down as the Lilac fairy" replied Natalie. "And if I don't?" inquired Carson. "Everyone will know about you and Mr.Lars. And I do mean everyone. Your parents, your friends, college recruits, everyone" answered Natalie. "You can't scare me into anything" said Carson. "As far as I can see you don't have any choice, either way you lose" said Natalie. Natalie started to walk away, then she turned back to face Carson. "I'd give my little proposition some serious thought if I were you". And with that she was gone.