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Aug 15

The Day of the Fan-Kicked Television

It was the day of the fan-kicked television.

It was the wintertime, many years ago, where a small girl with a big passion was determined to learn the choreography from her favorite show.

She sat in her basement living room, sprawled across the massive green couch. She was tired, she was uninspired. she lethargically reached for the remote, scrolling through the current TV offerings: reality shows to cartoons abounding, nothing caught her attention. She flipped through movies and sporting events, until finally something caught her eye: Newsies.

She caught it just in time for the end of “Carrying The Banner”, instantly energized and alert. She sang along mercilessly, got up and danced with reckless abandon. The small girl pranced about her basement, flailing and wailing along with every movement, every word. “Ain’t it a fine life, carrying the banner through it all!”

Bursting with energy, eager to move and proud to know every word, the girl continued to dance along with the film. The song came to an end, so she was relegated back to the couch, out of breath but utterly happy. Several more musical numbers came and went, but her favorite had yet to play. It wasn’t until later in the movie that Davey’s voice rang out: “Open the gates and seize the day/Don’t be afraid and don’t delay/Nothing can break us/No one can make us/Give our rights away…”

Instantly, the girl jumped from her seat. She was ready to carpe some serious diem. She stood tall, ready to show Pulitzer and Hearst what she was made of. Poised in the middle of the basement living room, the girl smiled as the next few notes of the song came on. She watched with admiration as each Newsie flawlessly executed their own line of tricks: tumbling and acrobatics and sheer beauty. The girl felt empowered; she felt inspired.

Suddenly, she remembered the new tricks she had learned in dance class that week. She paused for a second, pondering how some resembled the tricks the Newsies performed. The girl was enthused as she prepared for a pirouette and executed several foutte turns, a string of tours en seconde, and squared up to perform her favorite move of all: the noble fan-kick.

The girl grounded her feet, prepared her arms, and stared square at the television where Newsies continued to sing and dance, willing her to seize the day. She focused intently, ready to perform this tricky new move. Finally, she went for it. The girl swung her leg in front of her in a circular motion. Knee straight, toe pointed, her technique was flawless. Ecstatic, she reset her feet and went to do it again. Her leg swung gracefully in front of her, tracing a semicircle in the air. But suddenly, her balletic grace was interrupted by an object: A flat-screen black television.

As she realized what had happened, the girl cried out with pain. Her foot throbbed, though the television was alright.It was an inanimate object, it couldn’t feel pain. But the girl could, and she did. She felt pain, and she felt embarrassment, almost as though the Newsies had watched her mess up. She hastily turned off the TV, grabbed her ankle, and ran upstairs to fetch an ice pack. Her ankle was bruised, as was her ego. The girl vowed to leave the dancing to the professionals from then on, never attempting the choreography from Newsies again.

I am the girl. Years have gone by since I first tried to dance along with “Seize The Day”, and several other attempts have ensued. I have ascertained various injuries and several scuffs to my ego. But one of these days, I swear I’m going to learn that dance.

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