Tallulah's Solo

Illustrated by: Alexandra Boiger

Published by: Clarion, 2012

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Copyright © Marilyn Singer 2012

Tallulah’s Solo


Tallulah knew she was an excellent ballet dancer.  So she was certain that this year she would be doing a solo in the winter recital.

She was sure her little brother, Beckett, would become an excellent ballet dancer, too.  She was glad he wanted to learn ballet.  She could picture him, back straight, arms graceful, dancing behind her with the other kids while she did her perfect solo.

On the first day of dance school, Tallulah showed Beckett all around the studio.  “This is the barre,” she told him.  “You hold on to balance.”

“These are the mirrors so you can watch yourself move.” “And this is the chair where you sit if you misbehave.”

“Uh-huh, uh-huh,” said Beckett, but soon he was more interested in sliding on the smooth floor in his new black slippers.

Throughout his class, he paid attention only some of the time.  He held first position for just a few seconds before kicking his feet from side to side.

He giggled when the teacher said, “Show me beautiful arms.”

He picked his nose.

Tallulah couldn’t believe that he wasn’t sent to the time-out chair.  At the end of class, she told him, “Beckett, you have to pay better attention if you want to be a good dancer…Watch me.”

“Uh-huh, uh-huh,” said Beckett, and he did–for a little while.  Then he wandered into the waiting room to play with his toy car.

“Very nice relevé, Tallulah,” her teacher said when she rose and held her balance for a long time.

I will stay up even longer during my solo,  she thought with a smile.  I will look like a princess in my new tutu and sparkling tiara, and I’ll dance like one, too.

But she wasn’t sure Beckett would be dancing behind her.