Hey guys! I’m chatting today at Random Buzzers, Random House Teens message board. I’m getting a ton of questions, so come and check it out.
Here’s your Monday teaser from The Splendor Falls, which comes out in two weeks!
Pasha set me down, soft as moonlight; the orchestra covered the hollow tap of my pointe shoe. I balanced on one leg, the other stretched up behind me, prolonging the illusion of flight.
I could never say what went wrong in the next eight bars. The stage was clean, my pointe was solid. It wasn’t even a particularly difficult combination. Come down to fourth position, port de bras and changement to second position and a quick series of chaîné turns.
Right foot, left foot, right… then a strange crunching sound that seemed to come from inside my head. Without knowing how I got there, I was face down on the stage, and the murmurs of the audience were escalating with worry. In my dream—my memory–I tried to get up, but Pasha held me down, lapsing into panicked Russian. I didn’t have to understand the language to know that something had gone very wrong.
It’s funny how so much can hinge on one missed step.
Not funny ha ha. Funny that the moment that should have been the pinnacle of my seventeen years on this planet, ends up making me famous for the entirely wrong reason.
So, I really don’t mean funny so much as “tragically ironic.”
Dancers get injured doing the flashy things, jetés and échappés. I mean, who the hell breaks their leg on a turn they teach in the tiny-tots class?
Me, I guess. The month before, I’d gotten a full-page write-up in Ballet Magazine. The month after, I was a tragic item in a sidebar to an article on insuring your legs, Betty Grable style, against career-ending injuries:
Sylvie Davis, the youngest-ever principle dancer for the North American Ballet Company, during her stunning debut at Lincoln Center, suffered a compound open fracture of the tibia and fibula in front of hundreds of horrified audience members.
At least I knew how to make an exit.