“HEY, CORY, WHY did you tell that security guard that we were with the lighting guys?” Kevyn hurried to catch up, pushing through a gaggle of ballet dancers.
“Years of experience sneaking backstage at places like this. Security’s always real jerks about letting people back here. Upsets the performers.” Eye roll.
Cory grabbed Kevyn’s hand and pulled him through a swirling sea of costumed dancers stretching or marking their dances in the narrow passageways behind the stage area at the Rouse Theater. She wanted to see Jess before the performance began, to wish her luck, and this time she really meant it. She’d teased Jess a lot in the past about taking the “Buttcracker” performances so seriously, but tonight was different. They brushed past more performers, bumping into a few who turned their made-up doll faces to them and frowned. A dancer in a yellow tutu studded with colorful flowers lifted one leg toward the ceiling like a marionette without the strings. Another group of performers dressed in velvety Victorian coats and dresses stood in the wings beyond the stage, talking and sneaking sips from Starbucks paper cups.
“I didn’t know they made so much noise,” Kevyn said, indicating the dancers’ feet.
“The end of their pointe shoes are as solid as wood,” Cory explained. “You don’t usually hear the clunk-clunk in the audience, unless you’re in the front rows. Ruins the illusion of fairy princesses and enchanted flowers when you hear them go clomp, clomp, clomp all over the place.” Cory tugged Kevyn along, dodging around a costume rack of exploding pink and yellow netting that threatened to engulf them.
“You know a lot about dancing. Does Jess know as much about horses?”
“She came to a few of my shows early on, when it was warmer. But, no. Horses involve three things Jess doesn’t do—cold, dirt, and outdoors. Besides, when they start rehearsals, neither Jess nor my mom has time for anything else.”
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