Speakeasy – Dance like a maniac

In less than twenty four hours the Cramer High School dance team would hold their tryouts. Callie and Rachel knew there were two spots open and they wanted to be the ones to fill them. They talked about the opportunity as they walked down the hall toward the exit of the activities building.

Before they reached the exit they heard music blaring from one of the practice rooms. They looked at each other, and then moved closer. Through the narrow rectangular window in the door they could see someone dancing as they practiced for the tryouts.

“Who is that?” Callie asked.

“Alyssa Jameson. She used to be in my dance class,” Rachel informed her.

“She is amazing!” Callie whispered.

“She never danced like that before,” Rachel marveled.

What the girls did not realize was that the door had failed to latch. As they pressed against it to watch the young woman cover the floor of the room the door let go and they fell into the room, landing in a pile on top of each other. Alyssa stopped dancing in mid-routine as she realized she was no longer alone.

Callie and Rachel scrambled to get up from the floor and took off running toward the parking lot. Neither looked to see if they were followed, running to Rachel’s Volkswagen Beetle. The car roared to life and the tires squealed as they left the lot hurriedly. From the door of the hall Alyssa stood smiling, knowing she had accomplished her goal of intimidating her competition.

The ride to school the next morning was a silent one. The normally fun loving girls felt like their world was coming to an end. They always did everything together. Now they would be lucky if only one of them made the dance team.

When they opened the door to the school their friend Brittany met them with a huge smile. She was ignorant of the altercation the night before and was still operating on the assumption the two girls would likely be the next of her friends to join her on the team. She gushed about how much fun they would have together.

“Stop! You have no idea what we saw!” Callie half-shouted.

“Whoa!” Brittany said.

“Easy, we don’t know anything yet!” Rachel said.

“Okay, someone fill me in,” Brittany asked.

In the minutes remaining before class started the girls relayed their adventure from the previous afternoon. The rest of the day seemed to crawl for the trio as they half-dreaded the same tryouts they had circled on their calendars weeks before. All it took was a moment to vanquish their dreams of two years leading the cheers for the basketball team. They slowly made their way toward the gym for tryouts, as if a horrid beast waited on the other side of the door.

Instead there was the other dozen and a half girls with identical dreams to theirs, including Alyssa Jameson. She met Rachel and Callie’s apprehensive stares with a look of utter confidence. She knew the girls’ routine and that they would “accidentally” discover her practicing. She also purposely rigged the door so they could get in. Everything had worked according to her plan so far. All that was left was to make the team.

Callie looked at Rachel, seeing her knee rapidly moving up and down, the way it did when she was nervous. If Rachel did not calm down there was no way she would have a chance of making it. She could dance as well as anyone there, but not if she was worried. Callie searched the group for Alyssa, seeing her near one of the corners, stretching as she warmed up. The girl seemed to sense her looking and turned to smile as she continued her effort.

“Come on Rach, you have to pull it together!”

“I’ll be okay,” Rachel replied.

“Sisters forever?” Callie asked, holding her hand out with an open palm.

“Sisters forever!” Rachel repeated.

The tryouts were feverish and showcased some great dancing. Rachel backed up her promise and danced a flawless routine. The room was so silent you could hear a pin drop when the results were announced.

“I have a dilemma, the coach announced. Due to the strong showing, I have a tie for the last position.”

Rachel and Callie closed their eyes to await the words.

“Bailey and Morris, you are on the team,” the coach announced.

The girls erupted in excitement as they realized they succeeded in making the team. 


This week my story showcases the tension of two best friends wanting to share the experience of joining a team together. I have several friends who have been doing this for a while and I am glad to be joining in the fun.  The rules are simple, no more than 750 words, including the phrase “The door had failed to latch” and some reference to the song made popular from the movie Flashdance by Michael sembello called Maniac. reference the photo below. If you like fiction you should join in the fun. Check it out here: Speakeasy #127.

About Joe Owens

Can you tell from my writing I love God? I hope so because that is what I want you to know most about me. I am also a writer who loves taking on fiction prompts and crafting a story. One day you will read my work in print. Until then enjoy it here! For free!
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4 Responses to Speakeasy – Dance like a maniac

  1. Competition, even when you’re good, there’s the doubt, the apprehension. You delivered.

  2. Suzanne says:

    This is great Joe! Love the way the tension builds throughout the story. So glad they both made it! 🙂

  3. Stacie says:

    I’m glad they both made it! HS was so hard…

  4. Great story. The dance team at my daughter’s high school is highly competitive. My daughter doesn’t dance but some friends of ours have had their girls stressing over tryouts.

So you took time to read what I wrote and I appreciate it, but comments are even better!

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