So, by special request, I read book #2 from the Satin Slippers series, called Center Stage. No not that Center Stage….yet.
Well, not much to snark on, it was pretty good! What more can you ask for, a boarding school, San Francisco, and dancing! The author clearly knows her shit about dancing. Leah is the up and coming dancer at the school, and the school is doing tryouts for showcases, and Leah gets the coveted lead as Juliet in the Romeo and Juliet scenes. There’s some tension and jealousy among her friends and enemies.
Some of the tension occurs when she is partnered up with boy dancer James, the best male dancer at the school. James is all mysterious, snotty, anti-social and totally into his dancing. In other words, smokin’ hot. I don’t know if you’ve picked this up by now, but I am into the cocky guys. Except that, when he gets injured and doesn’t want Leah to tell anyone, he threatens her with bodily harm. Oh James, why do you have to be like that? Turns out he’s a shoe-in to be on the company and he doesn’t want anything to ruin that.
There’s all sorts of fucked up dynamics at the school, even the teachers being asses to the students because the students can always take their place in the company. Yeesh! I hate anything catty and cutthroat. One of the reasons I don’t want to go to law school. Well that, and I have no interest in law.
My experience with dancing is zilch, unless you count the ballet classes I took when I was four and had a small solo in our recital in which we did a routine to Phil Collins’ “Against All Odds.” But, it was pretty gripping and Leah’s relationships with the people around her were a bit more complex than most YA novels. In the end, she didn’t end up with James in a happy ending.
So yeah. Those of you that read this, anything else you want to share? What eventually happens to Leah and the gang?
But obviously, I can’t mention this book without mention the horrendously awesome movie, Center Stage, about kids at ballet school. The last ten minutes is some of the best stuff ever to grace the cinema. The kids in the school perform in showcases in which they will be recruited into ballet companies. The main character, forgot her name, not even important, is the star in the radically rebellious dance instructor’s piece. Of course, the whole thing that he choreographed chronicles her experience. Kind of like how the musical in High School Musical 3 was all about the experiences of 4 kids on the school, and everyone was ok with that.
Believe me, this is the best 10 minutes you’ll ever spend. Keep in mind this gal is 16 and a student and the teacher is supposedly in his late 20s. And they simulate sex onstage. As a ballet. While her parents are in the audience. And the costume changes are redonculous (especially at the 1:02 mark). And suddenly she has corn rows in her hair. Okay, I’ll just let you see it for yourself.