I sat at the side of the dance studio, hidden away behind the office blocks and wear houses, watching as an elderly woman corrected the steps of two teenage dancers: one wearing red and one wearing blue. The one in red, whose name I soon learnt was Lydia, wore her hair in such a perfect bun that it looked as though it had been plastered to her head. She danced as though her feet were magic wands, enchanting my eyes with each movement until I could not look away. Each step had it’s own character, some gentle, some fierce, some shy and some ostentatious. They drew me in like a warm duvet on a cold morning, awakening a dream that would not die, like an ex-lover I could not fully leave.
I could see why Lydia was such a star pupil, but as soon as my eyes broke free from her, I began to watch the girl in blue. She danced well enough and only made a few mistakes, but the teacher barely glanced at her. Why did no one speak to her? Someone needed to tell her to keep going. How long till she tiered of being invisible? Someone had to tell her not to stop. Maybe she wasn't good enough to make it - who was I to say - but if she didn't try she’d never know, and if she never knew she’d always wonder, and wondering would hurt her more than failing. The wondering would tear her apart, in the end.
As I left the room I glanced at Lydia, and wondered how far she’d get. Maybe I’d see her face on the London buses in ten years time. Then I looked at the girl in blue, barely reflected in the dirty mirrors, and then I descended down the wooden stairs and off into the night.