Tallulah's Tap Shoes

Illustrated by: Alexandra Boiger

Published by: Clarion, 2015

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Copyright © Marilyn Singer 2015

Tallulah’s Tap Shoes


Tallulah was excited about going to dance camp.  She would get to take ballet every day.

There was just one problem–she would also have to take tap, and she was not looking forward to that.  She’d been taking ballet for a while now and knew a lot of steps, but in tap, she’d be a very beginning beginner.

“I can’t wait to take tap,” said her little brother, Beckett.  “I want to dance clickety-clack-clickety-clack.”  He shuffled his feet.

Tallulah sniffed, “I’m a ballet girl.  I don’t clickety-clack.”

There were lots of ballet students at camp.

The beginners were in the front.  The dancers who’d been studying a little longer were in the rear.  The beginners pointed their feet in a tendu, then slid to the side in a glissade.

The teacher told Beckett that he didn’t have to slide so much, and she told a girl with shiny black hair to slide more.

I learned that last year, Tallulah thought.

Her group got to practice a tombé to a pas de bourrée to a glissade.  She did it perfectly.

“That was lovely, Lulu!” said the teacher, a tiny, gray-haired woman with a nice smile.

“Thank you,” Tallulah replied.  She didn’t bother to correct her.  She figured she would know her name soon enough.

“Wasn’t that great?” Tallulah said to the black-haired girl as they changed clothes.

Great? I don’t think so,” the girl replied.  “I don’t know why we have to take ballet.  It’s so…stiff.  Tap dancing is so much cooler.”

Tallulah’s eyebrows shot up.  “Stiff?  Ballet is…elegant!” She pirouetted gracefully around the floor.

But when she finished, the girl was gone.