Hi, PA here. Quick note for you all. I am a dancer, but a very begining dancer, and one who has NEVER done ballet. I tell you this because the routines and combinations I describe may not truly be feasible, and if this is the case as any time, I am sorry. I am trying very hard with this story including researching (literally for hours) to make this story as good as a I can. I did use correct terms and for that reason have included a glossary in case you (like me prior to writing this chapter) are not fluent in dance speak. This chapter contains quite a lot of description and I hope I have described the dances I envisioned well. If you have any questions please let me know, and I will do my best to answer them. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy (It's a nice long one for you!)
“Welcome 7th years. I am Professor Isabel Miranda, and this is my husband and dance partner Professor Carlos Miranda. Since we will all go crazy if we try and go by last name you may call us Professor Isabel and Professor Carlos. We will be your dance instructors this year,” she introduced.
“Now in order to help each dancer reach their best potential we will pair you ourselves, based mainly on experience, but also a bit on height. With that in mind, separate into boys and girls. Once you have accomplished that separate yourselves into beginner, intermediate, and advanced. We will pair up after that,” Professor Carlos instructed. The students proceeded to do so, and Hermione surveyed what it looked like.
The majority of students were in the beginners group, and there were about 7 intermediate girls, but only 4 intermediate boys. As for the advanced group, there was just Hermione among the girls, but surprisingly there were 3 advanced boys, Draco, Terry Boot, and Michael Corner.
“Okay, we are going to test the advanced group first, and then move down from there,” Professor Isabel explained. Hermione raised her hand.
“Hermione?” Professor Carlos asked what she needed. The professors were all made aware of the identities of the head boy and girl in advance.
“Should I go and dress for ballet or ballroom?” Hermione asked.
“Boys,” Professor Isabel turned to the advanced boys, “Do you all know ballet and ballroom?” Only Terry Boot didn’t know ballet.
“Okay, Hermione, sorry but we will need to you dance with all of them to test them since you are the only girl of their level. Thank goodness we have you for a double block. Now then, dress for ballroom then you can just change your shoes. Everyone back up please!” Professor Carlos took charge. Hermione grabbed her bag and when to the changing room. She pulled on the jazz pants and tank top and her character shoes. She pulled her hair into a pony tail and came back out.
“You will dance with Terry first. Just follow his lead, we may call out moves, do them if you can,” Professor Carlos explained. Hermione walked to Terry who stood at the floors center. Waltz music came on and the two immediately pulled themselves into position. Terry’s hands on her back and in the other held her hand. Hermione’s other hand was on Terry’s shoulder.
They started in a box step to get adjust to each other and began to circle. Terry lead her in sweeping steps across the floor.
“Can you do a lift please?” One of the professors called out. Hermione’s eyes met Terry’s.
“Can you?” Hermione asked.
“Maybe,” Terry replied calmer than he felt. Hermione felt the pressure and realized he wanted to do a lift where she was spun around him just a bit above the ground almost as if dancing on the ground. They prepared for the lift she set him up perfectly, and… he dropped her.
“Hermione, I’m so sorry I-“ He went to give her a hand up.
“It’s ok Terry, really,” Hermione took his hand and they went on to the next dance. Terry did better with the foxtrot, but there was no lift. During the Samba and the tango though, he was determined to stay as far away from Hermione as he could. She was very frustrated.
“Terry, just stop okay,” Professor Isabel was feeling the frustration and stopped. They hadn’t even done swing. “Terry, I think you would do better among the intermediate dancers.”
“Michael, why don’t you go next?” Professor Carlos ordered.
This time they started with swing, which made Hermione very nervous. They began with the floor work, twisting in and out of one another, but the lifting was inevitable and Hermione was concerned. She’d already been dropped once. Hermione was pleasantly surprised to find that his lifting was great. He threw her up, she split her legs, up again, then left, then up then right. Clearly this was his specialty. He did fine with waltz as well. His only problem came with the Latin dances. He was experienced, that much was clear, but not enough to ignore the discomfort of being so close to someone during a dance. For that reason his pace of was off, and it simply didn’t work. That could be improved on though, not bad at all. It was still annoying to Hermione though.
“Great Hermione,” Professor Isabel said.
“Michael, you go switch to ballet while we let Draco go,” Professor Carlos directed.
“Professors, I need just a moment,” Hermione said. She went to her bag and grabbed some water and wiped her face. The class had been sitting and watching in awe. The process was taking a long time, but at least in watching them it was interesting. Hermione came back to the floors center. Without waiting for invitation Malfoy walked up.
“Please for the love of Merlin tell me you can do Latin?” Hermione pleaded. She just needed, after all the mess, a good Latin dancer.
“Thankfully for us both, I’m not half bad at Latin dances,” Draco replied haughtily. His voice showing emotion when speaking to her for the first time this year. Before the Professors could start the music Draco turned to them, “Could we start with something Latin first?” They appeared to be pleasantly surprised, and turned on a tango song.
He took Hermione’s hand, pulled her close and placed his other hand on her lower back. She put her hand on his shoulder. Finally, a guy who wasn’t afraid to get close. They were in perfect tango position. Draco pressed lightly on the hand he held and she instinctively began a back step in time with the music, slow but deliberate. The couple’s eyes remained locked the entire time.
After her fourth back step Draco gave Hermione little notice before running a hand down her thigh to her knee. He pulled her knee up to his hip, and lowered his other hand. Hermione, knowing she was about to be dipped, leaned her hips into him. Draco knew she was ready for it and dipped her slowly. Hermione felt secure in this dip, and knew it was okay to go all out. He got her as low as he could and she proceeded to arch her back and go deeper.
The music’s tempo sped up a bit so he snapped her up, pushed her leg out and signaled her to turn as he matched with a double. Upon completing his turn Draco slid into Hermione just as she completed her turn.
Draco grabbed her hand and began to walk backward. Hermione began the high stepping stomp the tango was known for as she followed Draco’s lead. He allowed her to get close as they both prepared for what was about to happen. She was so close that there couldn’t have been an inch of skin that he wasn’t touching. She brought her lips close to his, and then was spun outward away from Draco, and then back in. This time her back was facing him. They both bent their knees and remained touching. Hermione was spun back out.
This time when she came back in Draco was silently telling her to prepare for a huge dip. She twisted into him, wrapped a leg around his waist and was dipped a mere inches from the ground. Hermione was pulled back up, and as the tempo changed again, so did their dance. She put a hand on his chest and began the stomp again, Draco responding in suit.
Soon Draco grabbed her hand, and pulled her back close and they began the fancier footwork of the closed portions of the tango.
“Feeling up to a lift Granger?” He whispered.
“Depends, are you going to drop me?” She challenges
“I never drop anyone.” Draco dropped the position and did a double turn away from Hermione with a paso doble flair with his arm in order to give Hermione some room. The Professors realized what was about to happen, but no one else did.
Hermione began the short run to Draco, expecting him to do a simple lift with her horizontal above him. Instead, as he lifted her he muttered and began to aid her in doing so, “Turn.” Hermione found herself in the air above him, back to him. She quickly responded by arching her back, pointing her toes, and dropping her hands. Draco turned slowly on spot. When he reached the original spot, he lowered her slowly.
The final moves were coming now. She stepped away from him immediately upon reaching the ground, and then looked over her shoulder at him. She put a hand behind her, almost as if saying to stay away. He grabbed her hand quickly, pulled her back to what would have been basic position, but she chose, as he knew she would, to end it better. She threw a leg over his hip, aligned the other with his leg, and tucked her head in, merely inches from his.
They waited for the music to end. They had danced that far longer than a normal tango would have gone. Still the music went on. Finally Draco said,
“Professors, we’re done, that went on longer than a normal tango already,” but still they didn’t drop the pose. As if coming out of a daze Professor Carlos paused it.
“Right, great, that was excellent. Okay, you two take a breather, I can see you need it, and we’ll talk to some of the other groups. The two separated immediately as if nothing had happened. Because nothing had happened. It was just dancing.
Hermione walked back to her back and sat for a moment while she drank some more when Michael came up.
“Look, I’m sorry, I just take longer to get comfortable and-“ she cut him off and smiled.
“Michael, it’s fine, we all dance differently, really, your swing was great.” He smiled and walked off. Hermione closed her eyes and wiped her face. This time when she opened her eyes Draco was before her.
“You dance well,” He complimented.
“Thanks. Thanks for not dropping me either,” She said gratefully, “I’ll have a bruise from Terry later.”
“You’ll have a few from me too, I’m afraid. The lifting you know,”
“Right.” Silence fell amongst them again.
“Personally I don’t wish to go through a million more dances for them. Shall we request the swing, and see if they’ll let us be done with ballroom.” Hermione nodded.
His swing was just as fantastic as his tango. He lifted her as if she weighed no more than a child, and, unlike many other men, was flexible enough to go with the twisting nature of the dance. He was just as daring with this style as well. Now, could he do ballet? Hermione went and changed and noticed that the class was now doing stretches. The professors must have decided they should do something productive while they waited.
“Begin,” Professor Isabel ordered. The music flowed through Hermione effortlessly. It was a moderate tempo, which left the possibilities open. Hermione went on pointe and began the tiny steps avant while Draco took slow deliberate steps following. Draco may have controlled tango, but Hermione controlled ballet.
Hermione suddenly dropped to fifth position and was about to execute a sauté when she felt Draco’s hands on her waist. Excellent. She bent her knees, jumped and pointed her toes. She landed in second position.
Upon her landing Draco leaped upward and pointed his toes. Upon his landing Hermione went from second position to arabesque by sissonne. Draco took her in this arabesque and lifted her. Hermione wobbled only slightly.
Draco lowered her, took her working leg, and gave her motion into a pirouette. She lowered her hands, which Draco grabbed to stop her. He took a knee so she could bend her knee, with his support and go into an attitude.
Hermione began an amalgamation of port de bras and plies, cueing Draco to show off a little. He began a series of high leaps and pirouettes, as if trying to get attention from Hermione, who was paying him no attention. Finally, as if giving up, Draco veered close to Hermione and offers a hand. Hermione looked at it sharply, did a chasse right past him and into a grand jete a la second. The two complete the pas de deaux quickly due to tiredness by both. Draco completed a Tour en l’air and Hermione, on pointe, a simple Sur le cou-de-pied.
“You two must exhausted, I’m sorry, we should have stopped you sooner. Fantastic work you two. You will be partners without a doubt,” Professor Carlos complimented.
“We don’t have much time left in this class,” Professor Isabel said, “But I know you two need to cool out and maybe ice bath? Go do whatever you need to do, and I’ll explain to other professors. I’m sorry, we let you two go on too long especially you Hermione, but you were wonderful,” Professor Isabel said quietly, just to them as her husband addressed the large group about what they may learn to do.
The two left quickly for their dorm without saying a word because despite what many would think after seeing that, it was just a dance and no emotion had been shared, and that was the beauty of dancing.
Glossary- Courtesy of Wikipedia
Arabesque- The position of the body supported on one leg, with the other leg extended behind the body with the knee straight.
Grand Jete- A long horizontal jump, starting from one leg and landing on the other.
Second Position- Second position of the leg - The dancer stands with feet turned out along a straight line as in first position, but with the heels about one foot apart
Fifth Position- Position in which the two feet are turned outward but in opposite directions
Port de bras- Literally "carriage of the arms". Sometimes misspelled "porte-bras". Movement of the arms to different positions
Tour en l’air- Literally "turn in the air". A jump, typically for a male, with a full rotation.
Sur le cou-de-pied- Literally means, "on the neck of the foot". This is a position in which the working foot is placed on the ankle of the supporting leg
Pirouette- A controlled turn on one leg, starting with one or both legs in plié and rising onto demi-pointe (usually for men) or pointe (usually for women).
Avant- Forwards, Front. A step travelling en avant moves forwards
Sauté-Literally "jump". As adjectives, sauté (masc.) or sautée (fem.) (soh TAY) are used to modify the quality of a step:
Sissonne- A jump done from two feet to one foot or in some cases two.
Attitude- A position in which the dancer stands on one leg (known as the supporting leg) while the other leg (working leg) is lifted and well turned out with the knee bent at approximately 90-degree angle. The lifted or working leg can be behind (derrière), in front (devant), or on the side (à la seconde) of the body.
Pas de deaux- Dance for two, usually between a male and female
Chasse- A slide forwards, backwards, or sideways with both legs bent, then springing into the air with legs meeting and straightened
Amalgamation-a combination of steps or movements