| Shooting Stars |

Shooting Stars: Part 9

I’m not prepared for this. This is… an attack. This is absolutely ludicrous



afna, d’you have a minute?” She throws the question over her shoulder casually. I nod. For my girls, I always have time. I flash an apologetic smile in Ayelet’s direction. “Be back in five!” I assure her.

I follow Aviva into the empty gym, wondering what this was all about. She doesn’t keep me in suspense for too long. Nah, she’s too nice for that. “Dafna, dance practice is tense.” Whoa. She gets straight to the point. I bite my nails. “In which way?”

Aviva looks at me incredulously. “You mean to tell me you have no idea?” I shake my head. What’s she talking about, for goodness sake? “Well, as far as I know, our rehearsals our pleasant and proceed swimmingly.” I lean onto the stage, folding my hands against my chest. “What’s your problem?”

Aviva steals a glance at my blazing eyes. I’ll put this girl into her rightful place, I think. Who does she think she is? I work hours on end to ensure our dance’s success. And she’s saying it’s tense, of all things? “Would you care to explain?” I regard her piercingly. She fidgets. She looks away. She twirls a strand of blonde hair around her graceful finger. And then she begins, in assertive Aviva fashion. “I wasn’t sure if I should tell you this at first. Your reaction was, well, exactly like I expected.”

Ouch. What does she mean by that?

“Our rehearsals are okay. But they’re missing something. Production isn’t supposed to be this tense, apprehensive time. It should be full of memories and laughter and yes, some partying too. Because that’s the way play is supposed to be. You’re allowed to let go once in a while.” She eyes me cautiously. I don’t meet her eyes. The nerve. The utter nerve. “You don’t understand at all! Do you know what it takes to get 12 girls to practice? Like, really get down to work? Does the whole responsibility lie on your shoulders? Of course not. So, you can say, ‘Party!’ I mean, why not?’ ”

Aviva shakes her head vehemently. “That’s totally not my point. I didn’t mean ‘ruin the entire atmosphere, let everyone do what they please.’ I meant that you should let go a little. Of course our dance is very important — I’m not underestimating its importance — to us all. The dance is the most elite part of our performance. But did you take the time to think about your dancers? Their feelings? Their opinions? I promise you, nothing will happen if it takes us a few minutes to calm down and get into formation. And everything will happen if you allow our smiles and parties into the gym.” She’s practically out of breath.

I’m not prepared for this. This is… an attack. This is absolutely ludicrous.

And if that’s not enough, she intones softly, “I can help you with that.”

Aviva. The girl I spent hours with, teaching her the beat over and over again until she had it down pat. What a betrayal.

(Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 794)

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