Dancing In The Street – Flash Fiction For 8/9/13

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Photo Copyright Renee Heath

Photo Copyright Renee Heath

Maria started ballet lessons at five in Tecumseh, Michigan, where she grew up. She dreamed of becoming a prima ballerina like her namesake, Maria Tallchief. Eclipsing her small hometown, known for producing the two worst mass murderers in U.S. history, she would put it on the map as the home of the greatest dancer ever.

Dancing was her life, her everything. She danced her way through the University of Michigan. After graduating, she was rejected by every major dance company. It was devastating. Today, she dances in the street in her hometown, pirouetting for honks, change falling at her toes.

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29 responses to “Dancing In The Street – Flash Fiction For 8/9/13

  1. oh man that was so sad. an frightening. you really captured the girl and her shattered dreams.
    but i hope that she feels some kind of joy in the fact that she can keep dancing still. 🙂

  2. Great character capture, Ron (and I like the reference to the two mass murderers–I agree with Maria, it’s better for a town to have a famous dancer) Tell her to keep dancing, you never know when a talent scout will be driving through Tecumseh..

  3. Dear Ron,

    I considered writing about the mass murderers of Tecumseh until I found the bits about the underground railroad. Fascinating little town. Now you made me look up Maria Tallchief. Love it when I learn something. And I enjoyed your story.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

  4. This is a sad tale, Ron, but somehow I found a little bit of hope in the ending. I trust you meant it that way. One hesitation came to me – in the first sentence “started classes at five” kind of makes me think 5pm, rather than age 5, and I paused over that as a consequence.

  5. I really like the persistence of her spirit. After being rejected by dance companies and understandably devastated by that, she continued on. Heck, by dancing on sidewalks, she’s probably seen by people who would never go to a ballet.

  6. Your story reads like a newspaper report. It’s not sad! You’re not a failure till you give up. At 60 I started singing lessons. At 63 next year I am recording a CD. Yah boo sucks. I enjoyed the history lesson too. Maria Tallchief WOULD be an inspiration. Art is a great leveller. Ann

  7. Hi Ron, you have captured the harshness of the real world where thousands like Maria suffer the same fate. Well done.

  8. Dear Ron,

    You wove a great tale from your research about Tecumseh, MI. I thought for a minute your dancer was going to be killed by another serial killer or that she was going to become one. i’m glad she’s only busking.

    Aloha,

    Doug

  9. Me, too.
    It was refreshing, though in a sad way, to read that she is still dancing, a part of her home town, and hopefully loved by all for who she is – as demonstrated by the honks (I hope the change being thrown is respectful) and – what’s missing, which I hope is there, is the happy hello’s of friends and neighbors in their cars and as they walk by.
    Randy

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