Usuki Singing Stars #36: Sparkles' Dancing Shoes
Miss Stryke blew her whistle. “It’s one two three, one two three!” the yellow Kau barked at her students. “This is the Brightvalian waltz, not square dancing!”
The students groaned. Everyone was paired with a dance partner and most of them were struggling to dance. Sparkles was confused as she attempted to lead her partner. “Am I doing this right, Wilbur?” asked the pink Bruce.
Wilbur shrugged. “I don’t know,” said the red Elephante. “But you need to stop stepping on my toes.”
“Sorry,” Sparkles gasped as she, accidentally, stepped on her partner’s toe.
As her partner jumped around her, Sparkles sighed. Miss Stryke had instructed her gym class to learn the waltz for the purpose of “refining one’s dance moves”, hence why she was also organizing the upcoming Pumpkin Ball. The whole class was told to keep practicing their dance steps, as they would all perform at the dance–where they’ll also be evaluated by their teacher. I really hope I can get my steps right in time for the Pumpkin Ball, Sparkles thought anxiously. Despite her enthusiasm and love for balls, she had to admit she was terrible at dancing.
“Alright you chums, break it up!” Miss Stryke instructed briskly. “Class is over for today. Tomorrow I’ll quicken the tempo for you lollygaggers. Now be gone and somebody get Wilbur an ice pack!”
Scary laughed as she watched Wilbur rub his sore toe. “He must have had the worst partner in class,” sneered the purple Bruce.
“He had me,” Sparkles sighed.
“Exactly my point,” said Scary. “And I must say that I’m really surprised at you, Sparkles. I mean, how can a faerie tale believing, princess wannabe fail at ballroom dancing?”
Lola patted Sparkles’ shoulder. “I’m sure she’ll improve in no time,” the yellow Cybunny said assuredly. “She just needs help.”
“And magic,” Scary scoffed.
Sparkles groaned. “I’ll take anything, ANYTHING to make me dance better! Just give it to me and I’m positive I’ll be a much better dancer by tomorrow.”***
The next day, Sparkles attempted to cheer herself up by wearing her new pair of shoes, believing the shoes will brighten up her day–even if she messed up her dance steps again. “But at least I look fabulous in these shoes!” Sparkles proclaimed to her friends.
Lola nodded. “They look really elegant.”
“I think they look ugly,” Scary snorted.
During gym class, Sparkles wore her shoes as she danced with her partner–a green Shoyru, as Wilbur decided to pair up with someone else. As the dance lesson went on, Sparkles made certain her partner didn’t step on her shoes. Careful, step away. Don’t lay any dirt prints on my new shoes, or else!
“Come on, you ninnies! Put more life in your dancing!” Miss Stryke barked. She pointed towards Sparkles. “You, pinky girl!”
“Me?” Sparkles gulped.
“Yeah, you,” said Miss Stryke. “Keep up the good work! As for the rest of you: work harder or else I’ll fail you all!”
She complimented me! Sparkles thought as Miss Stryke blew her whistle and shouted orders. As her dance partner stopped to cover his ears, she quickly looked down at her shoes and smiled. Of course, it all makes sense! My shoes must be the reasons I’ve improved my dancing! No wonder my partner hasn’t yelped in pain yet.
For the next week, Sparkles continued to dance in her new shoes, noticing how smoothly her steps were coming along. Her partners were never in pain and the dancing was always on point to the music Miss Stryke blasted on the gymnasium’s speakers. “Come on, you commoners!” the gym teacher would bark following two whistle blows. “Keep up this memento if you want to pass this unit! If you don’t, then it’s summer Neoschool for you losers!”
“Wow, Miss Stryke seems extra angry today,” Sparkles muttered to her partner.
After the music had stopped and Miss Stryke had finished yelling at her students, Sparkles gushed to her friends about the upcoming dance. “The Pumpkin Ball is only two days away! Aren’t you guys excited?”
“I can’t wait to dance the waltz,” said Lola.
Sparkles nodded. “At first I was afraid to dance, but now my magical shoes are giving me the ability to master my steps more quickly. They’re like miracle shoes!”
“You know there’s no such thing as miracles,” Scary sniffed. “Remember when Snaw said that?”
“Snaw says a lot of random things,” Sparkles insisted. She pointed to her shoes. “And I know for certain these shoes have some sort of magic that allows me to dance as gracefully as a faerie-tale princess. Surely this means my shoes are miracle workers.”
“Or it’s because your not dancing with Wilbur,” said Scary.
“Well I’m impressed by how fast you’ve been improving,” said Lola, beaming. “You’re one of the few students whom Miss Stryke doesn’t yell at.”
Scary rolled her eyes. “If she knew anything about fashion, she would order Sparkles to burn her hideous clogs.”
“They’re not clogs, their miracle-workers,” Sparkles insisted. “And when the Pumpkin Ball is here, yours truly will be the belle amongst the rest. Just watch!”***
“Sparkles, hurry up! We have to go to the Pumpkin Ball-thing!” Scary shouted from the staircase.
“Where are they…?” Sparkles muttered as she threw a pair of red slippers away. Her anxiety grew as she examined her remaining pair of shoes in her closet. They’re not here! My miracle working shoes aren’t here!
“Are you almost done?” Scary was banging the bedroom door. “Miss Stryke will have a fit if anybody’s late, Miss princess-of-everything!”
Sparkles immediately opened the door, yelling, “Scary, I can’t find my shoes! How can I possibly go to the dance without them?”
“And I bet you couldn’t find a better outfit, wither,” Scary remarked, eyeing the blue gown Sparkle was wearing. After she shows off her crimson dress, she grabbed her sister’s hand and led her down the stairs. “Come on! I want to make sure I don’t dance with a dud tonight.”
As the girls entered the Neoschool gymnasium, Sparkles felt her stomach quench. Although the gymnasium was decked out with red and brown leaf garlands and pumpkins displayed within the corners, the uneasy feelings didn’t go away–especially when Wilbur approached her and asked, “Would you like to be my partner tonight?”
“Me?” Sparkles gasped.
“Well…you are the best dancer in the class,” Wilbur explained.
“What about your other partners?” asked Sparkles.
“They haven’t been as good,” Wilbur confessed.
Despite being self-conscious, Sparkles followed Wilbur to the dance floor, where Miss Stryke was barking at the other students. “Tonight is your final dancing evaluation. Those who pass with pass and those who fail will have to write a ten page essay on why they can’t dance!” Miss Stryke blew her whistle and, as the music began, marched over to a wall as the students began the waltz.
“One two three, one two three,” Sparkles counted aloud, gently following Wilbur’s lead. As the couple continued dancing, Sparkles kept looking down at her shoes, making sure her partner didn’t step on them If only I had my magical shoes to help me. They were surely have given me an A for sure!
As the Pumpkin Ball continued, Sparkles found she was relaxing. She didn’t care if other students were watching her, and she certainly felt more confident with her dance steps. By the end of the students’ evaluation was over, Sparkles cheered, “Hooray, I did it!”
“You were definitely the belle of the ball!” said Lola, clapping. “Nobody else was quite the dancer.”
“And you did it without those ugly shoes of yours,” Scary marveled sarcastically. “I guess this means you don’t believe in faerie-tales now?”
“I’m sure there was some magic” Sparkles insisted. “Why else did my dancing improve after I began wearing my new shoes?”
“Because you stopped dancing with Wilbur,” Scary suggested.
“I think it’s because you were more focused on your footwork than before, Sparkles,” Lola explained. “The more cautious you were, the more your dancing improved.”
“Why didn’t I think of that?” Sparkles gasped. “I was so worried about my new shoes getting scuffed up that I was able to tune out my dance steps! And now that I don’t need those for dancing anymore, my magical shoes have flown away, searching for another young Neopian to assist–”
“Are you done?” Scary interrupted. “Because the music is changing and, now that Miss Stryke is done judging us, I want to go and dance for fun!”
Sparkles agreed and danced with her friends, all the while thinking about her “magical” pair of shoes. They may not have been real magic, she mused, but they definitely were magical with helping me with my dancing. And for that, I’m truly grateful.
“I do wish Sparkles could have worn those shoes to the dance, though,” Lola expressed to Scary. “I think they would compliment her dress perfectly. It’s strange that she lost them just when she needed them most.”
“Pfft, you’re such a dweeb,” Scary scoffed. “Of course Sparkles didn’t lost them; I took them and hid them in my closet. Doy!”
“Why would you do that?” asked Lola.
“To show Sparkles that she could dance without those ugly shoes,” Scary confessed. “Plus, she needed to be proven once and for all there is no such thing as faerie-tale magic!”