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Dancing to the Music of Your Heart


by animalnutz1993

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Danielle had learned to dance before she had learned to crawl. Her mother had been playing a little Blue Kadoatie Music Box, and the sensation the music gave her surprised her so much she hiccupped. She had to move to the beat, she just had to. And so she fumbled to her feet and began to twirl around, performing for her astonished mother.

     But that was then; this is now. Danielle dreams of dancing for Skarl and Hagan, Nabile and Jazan, Amira, and maybe someday, her Majesty Queen Fyora herself. Unfortunately, her father thinks otherwise.

     "Danielle, dancing never guaranteed any sort of living," he said gruffly. "What good will come of twirling 'round like a ballerina?"

     Danielle didn't have an answer to this, at least not one that she said aloud.

     "I need you to focus on what young Kougresses like you are supposed to be focusing on," he said seriously. "Life will get you nowhere if you try to pursue a career of dancing. Now, to be a farmer is a different story..."

     Danielle's brain took it in, but her spirit did not.

      ~*~

     Ask her father, and he will say that Danielle's "silly dancing fantasies" are a thing of the past. What he doesn't know is that whenever he isn't around, Danielle dances to the beat of her chores and to her relaxation. With the wind flowing through her thick pink fur, she twirled while she swept, she swayed while planting seeds, and she leapt through the air while she scared away the winged petpets that wanted to eat their crops. She kicked her feet while swinging, she jumped around while flying a kite, and she even tapped her foot while she read.

     Danielle doesn't know this, but she is beautiful, what with her brown hair, pink fur, and large dark eyes. And she dances like her feet have wings. But deep down, Danielle wept. She knew she should be grateful that she could dance at all, even in secrecy, but to know the beauty of such an art and keep it such a secret seemed inhumane. She longed to show her passion to the rest of the world. But alas, she couldn't.

     A tear of remorse fell on a corn plant, and to this day, it still grows a little slower than the rest.

     Meanwhile, Her Majesty Fyora was frustrated. She needed a solo dancer for her next fancy ball, but everyone who volunteered was horrible! Each of the would-be dancers had admitted they had been told that dancing would get them nowhere, and had therefore not practiced very hard. Annoyed and more than a LITTLE stressed, Queen Fyora had flown down to Meri Acres to sort out her thoughts in peace.

     Storming through a corn field in a blind rage, Fyora didn't notice the bustling corn plants to her left until it was almost too late. Just as curious as any Faerie, Fyora silently rose into the air to investigate. There, twirling round and round as she plucked ripe corn, was a young villager Kougress. Her deep, dark eyes her partly closed dreamily as she hummed to her peaceful, natural beat. The queen watched with fascination and amazement, at once deciding that her trip to Meri Acres was indeed worth it.

     "You dance like the wind, little one," she said softly. The Kougress jumped and whirled around.

     "Oh, your Majesty!" she gasped, curtsying.

     "Tell me, miss; what is your name?" inquired Fyora, lowering herself to the ground.

     "If it pleases my Lady, I am called Danielle," stammered the Kougress humbly, curtsying again.

     "Danielle, a Neopian of your gracefulness need not humble herself before a boring faerie like me," said Fyora gently. "Please call me Fyora." Danielle calmed down.

     "What brings you down to little Meri Acres, Fyora?" she asked, proceeding to continue her work.

     "Silence and the need to hear myself think," replied the Queen. "I need someone to dance at my upcoming ball, but all who audition stink."

     "Really," murmured Danielle quietly. Fyora had noticed the fleeting look of delight and hope, the impact of realization, and the melancholy expression before Danielle had restored her look of indifference.

     Fyora was suspicious. "Mayhap you could dance at my ball, Danielle," she requested.

     "I can't," said Danielle in a voice so quiet that Fyora had to strain to hear her.

     "Why ever not?"

     "My father would not approve," said Danielle, turning away.

     "My dear," protested Fyora. "Whoever said that anyone can control your future but you?"

     "I want to make him proud," murmured Danielle.

     "How can you be content with your life, aiming to please everyone (which is a very nice thing to do) without pleasing yourself first?" inquired Fyora indignantly.

     Danielle didn't answer as she placed her armload of corn in a basket. Fyora's face softened.

     "Sweetheart," she rose up to sit in a branch of a nearby apple tree. "It's obvious you love dance. It's also obvious that you are amazing at it. And you have a very big heart to want to please your father. But the bigger the heart, the bigger the hurt if you don't follow your dreams."

     Danielle looked up at Fyora's wise words.

     "Your dancing deserves to be seen and appreciated by the world. Danielle," Fyora jumped down and cupped the Kougress's chin her hand. "It's time for you not only to listen to your heart by caring for others, but to follow your heart by caring for yourself. It's time for you to dance to the music of your heart."

     "Do you think I'm ready?" whispered Danielle. Fyora smiled.

     "Ask yourself that. There's only one way to find out."

      ~*~

     Danielle listened nervously to the quiet chatter of the faeries in their seats from behind the curtain. She could listen just barely over the pounding of her heart. Her dream was about to come true; but she wasn't sure if she was ready. She fingered with the red sash tied around her billowy white dress. She heard Fyora clear her throat and adjusted the silver tiara that was pinned to her plaited hair.

     "Faeries and Neopets," introduced Fyora from the front in a cool calm voice. "Never in my years have I seen such a talented Neopian that I wish for you to meet tonight. I present to you, my dear friend Danielle."

     She heard the polite clapping and swallowed hard. The red curtain was drawn back and she stood there facing the audience, waiting for the music to begin. Fyora had insisted that she dance to the first song she had ever danced to, and merely said when Danielle told her it had been a lowly Blue Kadoatie Music Box, "The simpler the music, the more beautiful you yourself will become."

     Thus, the music began. Danielle swayed and swirled across the stage, fears forgotten. The moment she had heard the music, her troubles seemed pointless. All she had to do was let the music carry her through. Left, right, leap, twirl... everything soon formed into one as Danielle danced with the familiar passion she loved so dearly.

     All too soon it was over. Danielle kept her ending pose and waited. The audience was silent, most with their jaws dropped. An icy hand of fear clutched at her heart. Then there was a sound likely to an explosion. Applause and whistles and cheers rang through the air as faeries, Neopets, and maybe a petpet here or there gave her a standing ovation. Flowers of every kind showered the stage and many caught in Danielle's hair.

     Danielle's eyes shimmered. She had done it. She had followed her dreams.

     She had danced to the music of her heart.

The End

 
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