"Allie, is your homework done?" My mom always had a way with starting a conversation. It was the same way, every time. Even on weekends. The only time she didn't ask me was during the summer. So I always had the same answer, whether it was true or not.
"Of course, mom." I replied while looking out the passenger window of mom's Jeep Wrangler.
Mom turned up the radio a bit to make the awkward silence a bit more bearable. I don't know if it was that she didn't know what else to say to me, or if she just didn't want to have a conversation with me but this was a routine of ours every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the week. We were on our way to my dance class. I was wearing my torn, flesh tone tights under my sweatpants along with my black leotard. My hair was up in a tight bun fastened tightly with about 40 bobby pins. What can I say? I have thick hair. I looked down into my dance bag to be sure I had all of my shoes. Tap, Jazz, Pointe, and soft shoe. Good they are all there.
"Shit, Allie!" My mom gasped as she turned down the radio. I was a bit relieved because one can only listen to 50's rock and roll so many times in a period of 30 minutes before they flip their lid. I looked over at Babs with one eye brow raised.
"Shit, Shit, Shit! Can you see if you can ride home with Hannah after practice? I forgot I was going suppose to meet Dad for dinner at 6."
"Sure Babs!" Barbara Chandler hated it when I called her Babs, but it was so phone to annoy her and besides, it's unique from the alternative, Mom.
"Could you not? I mean, it's disrespectful of you to call me Babs. My name is Barbara and I've told you time and time again that I don't like being called Babs."
"Ok Barbara." I chuckled.
Babs glared at me briefly as we pulled into the Ann Babcock Dance Academy. I often wondered why she wouldn't just let me get my own license so I could drive myself to dance. I didn't mind riding with Hannah, but I felt like such an inconvenience.
"Be good and good luck!" Babs said as she nodded for me to exit the vehicle.
Tonight was try outs for the Alice in Wonderland Recital we'd be hosting. I didn't have a particular part that I wanted to play as long as it wasn't one of the fat twins. I mean, how horrifying would that role be of all of the amazing characters from the book.
I entered studio A of the Academy. Hannah, Jessie, Tara, and Chloe were already stretching and giggling about something that happened in school earlier that day. Ann was standing by the stereo looking through the music selection. I don't know how she knew it was me that walked in, but she softly greeted me anyway.
"Good afternoon, Allie. Please begin stretching. Try outs will take approximately two hours and I wanted to get started shortly."
"Yes ma'am" I replied as I sat down my bag.
I was older than Hannah and Jessie by a year. Tara and Chloe were older than me. Tara and Chloe were sure to get parts that involved tap dancing because the two were both brilliant tap dancers. Hannah and Jessie and I all came from another studio that we danced in when we were younger. We had a lot of experience in dance but we were new to this studio by about a year and still had a lot of respect to earn. As the other 18 boys and girls of the Senior Dance Company rolled in, I began to worry that I may end up being Dweedle Dee, or worse, Dweedle Dum. After all, I did play the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz. It was a horrible gig.