Here’s a glimpse of what’s to come!
It was the last week before the summer holidays. Tanya and Siobhán lay top to tail on Tanya’s bed. Siobhán flicked through the latest Dare to Dance Irish dance magazine; Tanya stared at the ceiling, playing with her blonde hair, so long it almost reached her waist. She groaned loudly. Siobhán gave her a gentle kick.
“Look, Tanya, there’s no point in dwelling on this. It’s not the end of the world.”
“It may as well be,” huffed Tanya. “How long will you be gone for?”
“About seven weeks,” said Siobhán.
“I’m sure you’ll have loads of fun with your Puerto Rican cousins,” said Tanya jealously.
“They aren’t as much fun as you.”
Siobhán jumped up into a standing position on the bed. “Do you want to play blindfold make-up?”
Tanya’s eyes lit up. “Followed by blindfold dance-off?”
Siobhán smiled. “Great idea.”
Tanya raided her mother’s stash of expensive make-up. She made Siobhán sit at her desk before blindfolding herself. Then she did her best to put lipstick, eyeliner, mascara and bronzer in all the right places. Siobhán didn’t need make-up—she had inherited her Puerto Rican mother’s gorgeous milk-chocolate skin. She couldn’t stop giggling as a serious Tanya acted like a professional.
Tanya tore off her blindfold and burst into laughter. Siobhán looked like a stray cat that had been in an accident with a rainbow.
“Ok, my turn now,” said Siobhán.
“Nah, I don’t wanna play this anymore. Let’s play blindfold dance-off now.”
“OK,” said Siobhán.
“We’d better go into the back garden,” said Tanya. “I don’t want to knock anything over this time. Remember last time I smashed Mam’s vase? She still doesn’t know where it’s gone.”
“Don’t forget the iPad,” said Siobhán.
Tanya’s family lived in a fancy six-bedroom house on leafy Griffith Avenue in Drumcondra. Siobhán helped Tanya to clear a space in the centre of the huge lawn by moving the patio table and deck chairs over to the boundary wall. Then Tanya blindfolded Siobhán. Siobhán hummed the tune of a reel and counted herself in. She jumped around with exaggerated zest, doing her Irish dance moves. Soon she became disorientated and lost her balance. She fell over but continued to hum and stomp her feet. She got up quickly and went immediately into a difficult spin while doing rocks and finally fell into a giggling heap on the grass. She tore off her blindfold to find Tanya in hysterics, pointing the iPad in her face.
Then it was Tanya’s turn. “I think I’m going to copy your reel.”
“Oh yeah?” said Siobhán.
“Yeah. After all, anything you can do I can do better.”
Blindfolded, Tanya hummed aloud the tune of the reel. She started jumping and kicking and rocking and twirling. She tried to imitate Siobhán’s steps and soon fell over in a heap. She got up quickly, regained her balance and continued her mock dance. She finished with a bow and took off her blindfold to find herself facing the back wall.
Siobhán had an odd kind of smile on her face.
“What?” said Tanya. “Was it not funny?”
“It was, it was,” said Siobhán. “Come here and I’ll show you.”
The two girls watched the replay of Tanya’s dance.
“Seriously Tanya, that was quite good. I’ll ask you for the last time. Please come to dance class with me. You have all your mam’s talent. It’s time you started competing.”
“But won’t there be other kids there?”
“Yeah, but they’re nice kids. They aren’t all spawn of Satan, you know. Only one in every hundred kids are big meanies.”
“Think about it. We’d get to dance together in team competitions and go to places like Killarney and Glasgow for weekends. It’d be great craic.”
Tanya smiled gently. “I suppose so. I’ll think about it.”