Emma Swan had two left feet. She could barely walk in a straight line let alone dance. But be that as it may, she had rhythm and a secret yearning to be as graceful as her namesake. It was that secret yearning, and that alone, that had led her to sign up for a trial class at Mirror Mirror Dance Academy.
Standing at the back of the room gawking at the other students in their tights and leg warmers, she felt like a duck out of water wearing her beaten up sneakers and sweatpants. A group of girls were sat stretching on the floor, bending in ways Emma wasn't even sure her body was capeable of. They were young too. Around fifteen years old by her reckoning. The receptionist had told her this was an adult class but at twenty-eight, she was by far the eldest in the room, practically a dinosaur. She was about to run out of the class and forget this whole debacle when she heard the most sensual voice cut through the chatter.
"Good evening class. Let's get warmed up, shall we?"
Emma whipped around and let her gaze fall on the vision in black. The instructor was about her own age, maybe a little older, had dark black hair set just above her shoulders and dark eyes to match. The skintight leotard showed off her dainty waist and the tights hugged her perfectly sculpted ass and well trained thighes. She licked her lips unconsciously as the instructor kicked off her high heels and bent over to put on her jazz boots. Emma decided her ego could probably take a beating. The sight of the woman in black was pretty good motivation to stick around.
The instructor took her place at the front of the room facing the wall to ceiling mirror and clicked play on the stereo. The other class members were now up on their feet and positioning themselves an arm's distance apart. The girls who had been bending impossibly a few moments before now occupied the front row. Emma sensed there was some sort of hierachy in place where the more experienced students got to stand closer. She was curious to get another glimpse of this instructor and moved closer to the front row, ignoring the whispers of disapproval from the other girls.
The instructor raised her arms out to the side and the rest of the class followed suit. ' So far, so good.' Emma thought and copied the others. The instructor rolled her neck from side to side and then around in a circle. Emma did the same and felt a knot pop she wasn't even aware she had. It felt good. Next, some shoulder shrugs and again, the class copied the instructor. Emma was beginning to relax. Her body had been tense from sitting for hours in her bug on stakeouts and the light stretching was doing wonders.
After some lunges and attempts at the splits, the instructor spoke again for the first time since the beginning of the lesson.
"Now, everybody on the diagonal please. Kick ball change, kick ball change, run, run, leap."
Emma looked at the instructor with embarrassed confusion. She had absolutely no idea what any of that meant. The instructor caught her eye and smiled.
"I don't believe I've seen you in my class before."
"I'm, erm, new." Emma stammered.
"Have you danced before?" The instructor asked. It wasn't condescending, just inquiring.
"No. I mean, not in a class or anything." She could feel the other girls in the group eyeing her and her cheeks began to glow. "I just came for a trial, just to see if.."
The instructor walked over to her and extended a hand. "Welcome! I'm Regina Mills. I'll walk you through everything ok." She took Emma by the hand and led her to the corner of the room. "This is the diagonal. We usually start on the left and move towards the opposite corner so we have more space to move." She stood beside Emma and pointed her right toe behind her. "This is how you should start. She kicked her leg and replaced it on the floor, shifting her weight from one foot to the other. "This is a kick ball change. Try it with me."
Emma tried to mimic her instructor but failed. Regina put her hand on Emma's right thigh and spoke slowly, "kick this leg.. great.. now stomp this leg back down.. now stomp the other... very good. Sorry I didn't catch your name.
Emma gulped hard. Regina's hand was still on her thigh. "Erm, Emma. Emma Swan."
"Emma, watch the other girls and then we can go together ok?"
Emma smiles weakly and nodded.
"Belle in position please." She pressed play on the stereo. "Five, six, seven, eight."
Emma watched as the girl kicked and leapt across the floor with polished skill. Then another girl and the rest of the class until there was nobody else in front of her. Regina walked back over and stood beside Emma. "Ready? And a five, six, seven, eight and kick, ball change, kick ball change run, run leap! Very good!"
Emma was beaming at herself and pleased with the encouraging words from the hot instructor. She didn't care when the other girls in the group giggled at her mistakes, she might have actually made a few on purpose just so that Regina would correct her and she could feel her hands on her body if she was completely honest with herself.
After the diagonals, Regina positioned herself in front of the mirrors with her back to the class and spoke. "Today I'm going to teach you a new routine. It's a little different than what we normally do so I'll take it slowly." She demostrated a sequence of moves whilst counting and then paused. "Together and one.." Emma tried her best to follow the moves and caught the instructor's eye in the reflection. ' Is she checking me out or am I imagining things?'Just in case, she pumped her chest out a little more exaggeratedly than the step called for and was pleasantly surprised to find Regina's gaze wander to where her vest was straining over her cleavage.
The next sequence of moves involved some backward bending and high kicks. As Regina demonstrated, it accentuated her own cleavage and Emma couldn't help but imagine seeing her instructor bent backwards like that in a much more intimate setting. She blushed slightly as she realised Regina had now turned around and was staring at her with an evil smirk. The rest of the class were practising the move. "I don't think I can bend like that." She stuttered.
"Nonsense!" Regina scolded and put her arm at the small of the blonde's back. "Try to bend into me. When you feel my hand, stop there and extend your leg."
Emma tried it but her leg wouldn't go up anywhere near as far as Regina's had. She grunted a little bit with the force and Regina giggled. "You just need to work on your flexibility. It'll come if you practise." And she grabbed Emma's extended leg and pushed it a little higher. "Aim to get to here for now."
As Regina moved away, Emma lost her balance and fell on her ass with a thud. The other girls laughed loudly but Regina shot her a concerned look. "Did you hurt yourself?" She asked and offered Emma a hand to pull herself back up.
"Nope. Just my pride." Emma half smiled and rubbed her ass sheepishly.
"You know, it's quite normal for dancers to topple over, don't let it put you off. I can teach you how to fall, I mean, in a way that you won't get hurt." Regina's eyes flitted almost imperceptibly to the blonde's ass and back up again as if catching herself.
"Yeah? There's a right way to fall?" Emma asked boldly.
"There certainly is. You just have to let it happen. Let go of the innate fear and instinct to resist. Melt into it." Her eyes lidded and she gracefully fell to the floor like a rag doll then rolled backwards, landing on her knees.
"Wow!" Emma exclaimed in awe of the instructor's technique. "I think I'm gonna enjoy falling."
Regina smiled and turned back to face the mirrors and smoothing the invisible creases on her leotard. "Well, that's a contemporary move. I teach contemporary on Thursday's at four."
Emma nodded and took a few steps back, realising she had made her instructor uncomfortable. She could be a bit full on at times and her subtlety was non-existent. She joined the line with the other girls and for the rest of the class tried not to make eye contact with the instructor.
At the end of the class, the group was dismissed and that all piled out chatting and giggling. Just as Emma was about the leave, Regina spoke. "Oh and Miss Swan, I hope to see you in one of my classes again soon."
"Yeah. It was fun. Thanks. I'll erm, I'll think about it."
Emma left the dance class feeling as though every muscle in her body had just been pounded with a meat grinder. She wasn't that out of shape, she ran most days so the soreness came as a shock. She winced as she sat down in the driver's seat of her yellow bug and gasped at the shooting pain in her thigh when she stepped on the gas pedal. "That's new." She said to no-one but herself and tried as best she could to drive in the direction of home. Her stomach growled angrily so she decided to stop off for donuts. She needed the energy she figured. By the time she got back to her apartment, she was covered in sugar and there was only one donut left in the box. She grabbed the box and leapt from the car forgetting the muscle pain until it was too late. "No more leaping for me today." She turned the key in the lock and was greeted by a naked ass protruding from the sofa. "Eww, jees! I just ate for Christ's sake!"
Emma's flatmate peered over the top of the couch flushed either from exhertion or embarrassment, she couldn't decide and really didn't care either way.
"Emma! What are you doing here? I thought you were out on a case, I swear I wouldn't have... if I thought... hehe... sorry, ahem, Emma, David. David, Emma." The pixie haired woman stammered while the naked man awkwardly grabbed the first item of clothing he could find and tried to dress himself quickly. Emma heard a thud and rolled her eyes.
"Yeah, yeah. I think we're past introductions seeing as I already met your ass." She threw the donut box on the kitchen table along with her keys and grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge. It was open plan and the kitchen led directly into the lounge. She knew she should probably go to her room but she was thirsty and tired and honestly didn't give a crap if they were uncomfortable. Serves them right for getting busy on her couch. ' My Couch! Shit!' "So much for Netflix and chill." She called out.
"We'll go to my room Emma. Sorry, just give me a second to get my, erm, clothes." Mary M chirped.
"No, seriously, I'm not going anywhere near that couch until it's been bleached at least three times!" She was of course joking. Maybe just a wipe down would be enough, and a throw blanket. Maybe.
The guy, David, now fully clothed, allbeit with a rather small blouse riding up his midriff, spoke up. "I think I'm just gonna, head out. I'll call you ok?" And he quickly exited the apartment, slamming the door behind him.
"He was wearing my shirt, wasn't he?" Mary M grimaced.
"Yup! God! You both acted like a pair of horny teenagers, the couch? Seriously, M?" Emma shook her head in disapproval and winced again with the motion.
"Come on Em! Talk about double standards! I seem to remember more than one occasion where I've walked in on you!" Mary M quipped uncharacteristically.
"What's up with you anyway? You look like you're in pain. Did you get into another fight?"
Emma groaned. "I love how you assume that about me. It was one time! And no! If you must know, I erm, I took a dance class."
Mary M's eyes widened. "Really? What's her name?"
Emma's jaw dropped. "Again with the assumptions! You are really crabby today. Maybe I should have let David finish the job."
Mary M pouted. "Em, It's always a girl. Paragliding for Lily, ice-skating for Elsa and let's not forget hunting for Ruby."
Emma rolled her eyes. "Well this is different. I kinda always wanted to be able to dance, you know, learn to be more graceful. It's pretty tough. I need a shower."
"So you aren't going back?" Mary M shook her head.
"Oh, yeah. I'm going back. I might even try contemporary. Learn how to fall without cracking my head on the concrete and plus, a decent high kick could really come in handy for work!" Emma grinned.
Mary M laughed incredulously. "Sure. Just maybe hold off on buying all the tutu's and whatever other gear you think you need until you've been there a month. I don't think our closet can hold anymore of your hobbies."
"Oh ye of little faith! And anyway, it's jazz. We don't wear tutu's. Just tights and leotards and vests. I should get some new tights. Maybe a pair of those black boot thingies. They looked comfortable." Emma wasn't even talking to Mary M anymore, just planning a shopping trip out loud as she made her way to the bathroom. She shut the door behind her and was still mumbling to herself.
Mary M shook her head again. "Definately a girl!"