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Off Pointe

De
128 pages
When Meg’s summer ballet program is canceled and her ballet teacher suggests she attend Camp Dance to learn new dance styles, Meg is devastated. Worse still, her teacher thinks she lacks stage presence and needs to connect more with her audience. At camp, Meg struggles to learn contemporary dance. A girl named Logan, who is jealous of Meg’s ballet technique and her friendship with Nio, a cute contemporary dancer, makes Meg’s life even more difficult. When Meg, Nio and Logan have to work together to create a piece for the final show, arguments threaten to ruin their dance. Unless they are able to overcome their differences, Meg’s time at Camp Dance will have been a disaster from start to finish.
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O ff Pointe OffPointe Leanne Lieberman
OffPointe Leanne Lieberman
Copyright ©2014Leanne Lieberman
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Lieberman, Leanne,1974–, author Off pointe / Leanne Lieberman. (Orca limelights)
Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn 9781459802803 (pbk.).isbn 9781459802810 (pdf). isbn 9781459802827 (epub)
I. Title. II. Series: Orca limelights ps8623.i36o34 2014jc813’.6 c20149015550  c20149015569
First published in the United States,2014 Library of Congress Control Number:2014935396
Summary:Meg lives for ballet and doesn’t like to try new things, so a summer at camp learning new dance styles proves challenging.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover design by Rachel Page Cover photography by Getty Images
orca book publishers orca book publishers po Box 5626, Stn. B po Box 468 Victoria,bcCanada Custer,wausav8r 6s4 982400468 www.orcabook.com 171615144321
In memory of Debra Karby
One
s ï waî în e wîngs o go onsage, my A ands sroke e Ine Ue o my pînk UU. e res o e jUnîor company îs aready Under e brîg îgs, and în a momen ï wî sep ono e sage or my soo. My mUsces are warm, my aîr secUred în îs bUn, my poîne soes aced îgy aroUnd my ankes. Sîvers rUn Up my arms as ï wac e oer dancers cîrce e sage în nea pîqUé Urns în îme o e mUsîc. A îs momen a e acîng mUsces and ae nîgs crammîng omework are wor î. he mUsîc sows, and ï coUn eîg beas. hen ï ake a deep brea, compose my ace and sep en poîne o joîn e oer dancers.
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L E A N N E L I E B E R M A N
or wo gorîoUs mînUes ï dance în e cener o e sage. ï perorm enreca-qUare—jUmpîng and rapîdy beaîng my ee ogeer—îno pîroU-eTes. My jUmps are îg, my Urns seady, a my înes nea. A rîcke o swea rUns down my back as ï prepare or e Ina pîroUeTe, my rîg eg kîckîng oU o prope my Urn, my arms comîng o second posîîon. ï Inîs wî an arabesqUe, one eg graceUy exended beînd me, and en a cUrsy. here’s a pop o appaUse, and en ïrUn oFsage. Back în e wîngs, my brea speeds Up and a smîe sars o spread across my ace. My Irs soo. ere’s no îme or ceebraîon, noîng more an a nod rom Mrs. G, wo îs concen-raîng on e oer dancers sî onsage, er ands sUpporîng er ower back. ere are ony wo more nUmbers beore ï joîn e res o e company or e Inae, e “Dance o e Cygnes” romSwan Lake. uîck, qUîck, down e saîrs wî e oer dancers o e dressîng room o cange my pînk UU or a wîe one. here’s jUs enoUg îme o owe oF, adjUs my oe soes and Ix e smear o eyeîner a e corner o my eye. hen we’re back în e wîngs,
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O F F P O I N T E
e mUsîc sarîng Up, Mrs. G coUnîng Us în.And en we are onsage and ï am dancîng. MînUes aer, wen e cUraîn as o a roar o appaUse, ï wan e evenîng o sar a over agaîn. Aerward, e dressîng room îs U o excîed dancers, everyone Uggîng and congra-Uaîng eac oer. My bes rîend, JUîa, rows er arms aroUnd me. “Wor î?” se says, bU î’s no reay a qUesîon. We bo know bae îs wor everyîng. A momen aer we are over-wemed wî parens and rîends a pressîng Us wî lowers. We are baerînas, and onîg îs oUr nîg.
* * *
ï wake e nex mornîng îred bU appy and ro over în bed o ceck my pone. here are messages rom JUîa, rom my oer bae rîends and rom my aUn Cay. hen ï noîce an emaî rom Mrs. G. ï open e message, expecîng î o be a noe o congraUaîons, bU î’s enîed “Wî Regres.” Mrs. G wrîes:
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I regret to inform you that the Summer Ballet Program is canceled due to my unexpected back surgery. I will see you all in the fall. Fondly, Elaine Greer
ï îe în bed, sUnned. ï aways aend e sUmmer bae program. And îs year ï was even goîng o say în e resîdence or e Irs îme wîe my parens are away în ïay. ears sar o orm înmy eyes as ï ca JUîa. Se’s read e emaî oo and îs aso în ears. “Wa wî yoU do?” se asks. “ï don’ know,” ï e er. ï’ve never done anyîng bU bae. My bae obsessîon began wen ï was oUr and my parens ook my sîser ess and me o see a perormance ohe Nutcracker. ï remember e rî a came over me wen e cUraîn wen Up. ï sa on e edge o my sea as e beaUîU baerînas Urned and eaped across e sage. ess îked wen e sodîers oUg e mîce, bU ï oved wen Cara danced wî e prînce. ï begged my parens or bae casses, or bae cosUmes, bae books and bae mUsîc. ï’ve been dancîng ever sînce.
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O F F P O I N T E
* * *
he nex week creeps by. ï’ve sUrvîved grade nîne, and scoo îs oU. Everyone ese as sUmmer jobs îned Up, bU a ï can înk îs, ï’m sUpposed o be a bae scoo. ï ry angîng oU a e ma and wakîng în e park, îngs ï înk ï wan o do wen ï’m bUsy wî bae, bU ï ave no one o ang oU wî. My bae rîends ave scaTered across e cîy, and JUîa îs workîng a er parens’ resaUran. ï don’ ave any scoo rîends becaUse ï eave eary and spend a my Unc oUrs workîng on e omework ï don’ ave îme o do a nîg. Mom keeps askîng me wa ï wan o do wîe se and Dad go o ïay or wo weeks, bU a ï can say îs “Bae.” ï know se înks ï’m beîng dîicU, bU wen ï cose my eyes ï ony see myse a e barre.
* * *
“Meg, specîa breakas or yoU—woe-wea bUeberry pancakes!” Dad cas rom e kîcen. ï yawn and swîng my egs oU o bed. My dad’s
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L E A N N E L I E B E R M A N
pancakes are deîcîoUs. Besîdes, wa ese îs ere o do on a SaUrday mornîng î yoU aren’ dancîng? A e abe ï noîce a coorU brocUre Ucked Under my jUîce gass. “Wa’s îs?” ï ask. Dad îs sandîng a e sove. “Read î and yoU’ see,” e says, lîppîng a pancake. ï pU oU e brocUre reUcany. On e cover î says,Dance tHe summer away at Camp Dance. Beow îs a pîcUre o a groUp o gîrs eapîng în e aîr. ï lîp roUg îmages o appy gîrs on boas, swîmmîng în a ake, roasîng marsmaows and posîng în dance cosUmes. “Grea,” ï say lay. “Wo’s î or?” Dad lîps anoer pancake and ooks a me. “ï’s or yoU. he Irs sessîon sars nex week.” “YoU’re kîddîng, rîg?” ï lîck roUg e brocUre agaîn. “here’s, îke, no a sînge bae pîcUre în ere.” “Exacy. JUs becaUse yoUr bae program îs canceed doesn’ mean yoU can’ dance îs sUmmer. YoU’ ge o ry e ca-ca, ango and jazzy ap-ap.” “Jazzy ap-ap?” “Here. Look în e brocUre.” Dad comes over and jabs a Inger a e îs o dance syes:
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