Welcome! I must first begin with a disclaimer. This story was inspired by the "Ballet Academy" TV Show, "Center Stage" movie and "Pride and Prejudice book. Therefore, you will see some of the plots intermingle in this story. Anything you see that belongs to them is clearly not mine. I hope you will enjoy the story and I look forward to your thoughts!
Lizzie closed her eyes and took a deep breath as the wind rushed against her face.
"Come'on Daisy" she whispered, nudging her beloved horse softly.
Daisy responded to Lizzie's soft caress and went faster—speeding through the wind. It would seem a rather injudicious decision to leave Texas and go all the way to New York for the American Ballet Academy. There was no belying the fact that it was the top school in the country. It was even recognized throughout the world. The top students were offered a position in the Academy's company and probably other competing companies. But that was only peripheral to Lizzie's decision.
She had been dancing all her life—holding on to the fence of her farm as the bar. With grass and dirt on her feet, she would swirl, dance and enjoy ballet. It was something in her—something her grandmother had instilled in her heart. Jane was also a dancer. She was starting her third year at the Academy, which brought relief to Lizzie. It was frightening enough to move to New York. She had never been there. Her audition had been in Minnesota and luckily she got in. She was going to New York to attend the Academy, the Ballet school with the most prestige.
Daisy went faster, liberating Lizzie from all the stress that was ruminating in her head. She wasn't skittish—but this was a huge decision. At the beginning she had been placid, now the excitement was taking over. She had all sorts of fanciful expectations which she knew was a mistake. Having expectations is basically setting yourself up for failure.
On Daisy Lizzie felt ethereal—like an angel flowing through the wind. She was going to miss her.
"LIZZIE!" bellowed a voice from behind her. She grabbed on to the ropes around Daisy's neck and slowed her down.
"Down girl" she whispered, caressing her face softly. She jumped out of the horse and pulled her towards the vociferous voice that was calling.
"What you doing?" asked her mom, in a thick Southern accent.
"I was busy" responded Lizzie, caressing Daisy again.
"Yeah, Busy as a stump-tailed cow in fly time" murmured Mrs. Bennet. Lizzie laughed at her mom's comment. "Your father is looking for you everywhere! Bob is here with the truck to take you to the airport. Everything is packed up—what the hedge were you doing out here?"
"I'm going to miss her" murmured Lizzie, letting out a heavy sigh. "Alright, I'm coming" she murmured, trailing after her mom towards their house.
"Well there ya'll are" said Mr. Bennet, taking off his straw hat. "Bobby is here Lizzie. You ready?"
"Yeah" she answered, shrugging her shoulders and forcing a smile. Mr. Bennet approached his daughter and took hold of both her arms.
"You go give them hell. You earned that spot!"
"I'm just a country gal" murmured Lizzie, looking down.
"You are a ballet dancer" corrected her father, smiling widely at her daughter. He leaned in and kissed her forehead. "Go hog wild!" Lizzie laughed at his remark.
"I will!" she said, kissing him on the cheek. "Bye mom!" She walked over to daisy, who was now hanging out by the fence. "I love you…I'll be back soon…I'm going to be an American Ballet Ballerina!" she whispered, smiling at her horse. After giving her another kiss, she walked away, taking in a last memory of the place she had till now called home.
"We are going to be late" murmured Will Darcy.
"Relax Will, we are almost there" said Charlie, in his typical nonchalant voice.
"I'm sanguine the meeting will go well. It's just, it's the first meeting that I'm in charge since my father…you know, left" grunted Will, letting out a heavy sigh. "Louis, can you make this go any faster?" he asked in frustration.
"I'm sorry sir. You know the city. Filled with traffic" answered Louis.
"It's okay pal" said Charlie, "look we are turning in, we are almost there". The minute the car pulled over, Will didn't bother to wait for the driver to open his door. With alacrity, he bolted out of the car, only to run into someone, falling on the ground with her.
"Watch where you are going" she said, dusting off her jeans as she got up. She stared at the contents of her backpack spilled over the group. "Great, my book ripped" she remarked, grabbing it. Will let out a heavy sigh and also got up, murmuring, "This day cannot get any worse".
"Here" he said, mumbling his words as he was very late. He handed her some of the books that she had dropped. What was this girl doing with all these books? Was she here to dance or read?
"Thanks" she muttered, glaring at him. Will rolled her eyes at this young ballerina. She had no idea who she was talking to. He looked at his watch and motioned for Charlie to follow. Will left without saying anything—Charlie nodded apologetically to the beautiful brunette Will had bumped into. Lizzie rolled her eyes.
"What an—" she began but was interrupted.
"—was that Mr. Darcy?" asked Jane, walking towards her.
"Who?" asked Lizzie, grabbing her bag, as if the name meant nothing to her.
"Mr. Darcy is the director of the school and the company Lizzie!" murmured Jane, helping her gather her stuff.
"Well he still needs to learn some manners" murmured Lizzie, "company owner or not".
"Haha" laughed Jane, "intractable as always"
"You know me" said Lizzie sweetly, faking a wide, goofy smile. "It's great to see you!" she murmured, hugging her sister tightly.
"You too, come, I'll show you around" she suggested, grabbing one of her bags.
"Hey there" said Lizzie, greeting her roommate. "I'm Lizzie Bennet"
"Hi" answered a soft voice, "I'm Charlotte Lucas". Charlotte was an amiable girl, though she seemed a bit heavier than the others. She wasn't the prettiest girl Lizzie had ever seen but she seemed nice and Lizzie knew from being surrounded by animals her whole life that beauty came from within.
"Where are you from?" asked Lizzie, as they were unpacking their things.
"Jersey" said Charlotte, with a distinct accent. "My mom teaches for the Academy—I think that is why they took me" she added, looking down.
"No, I'm sure you are great!" said Lizzie, hoping she was right.
"I'm okay" mumbled Charlotte, shrugging her shoulders. "Oh my, we have orientation in an hour! We should hurry!"
They continue to unpack while talking, getting to know each other better. By the end of the hour, Lizzie was happy with her rooming arrangement. She was a little of a "Debbie Downer" but maybe that could change.
"Welcome" began Mr. Darcy, pacing slowly in the front of the room, "to the American Ballet Academy". He stopped and allowed the students to clap. After a moment, he gave them a look which signified he was ready to continue. "Though you have been accepted into the first year program, you spot is not guaranteed for the three years of the program. If you retain that spot will depend on your performance throughout the year. Be on time. Listen to your teachers. Work hard. Follow the rules. If after all of that, we deem that you are not qualified, please note a lot of thought went into that decision.
At the end of the year we will be having a production. Behind me are your teachers, whom I will introduce momentarily. The castings for the production will be decided by December—till then you have the opportunity to impress your teachers. This is an Academy. I expect everyone to address their instructors by 'Mr' or 'Miss', the same way that we will address you as such. We are looking for excellence and if you are here, that means we think that potential is in you.
Now unto you teachers. This is Mr. Bingley, Miss De Bourgh, Mrs. Lucas and" his voiced shifted a little bit, "Mr. Wickham". Girls could be heard murmuring as their eyes laid on the infamous, handsome Mr. Wickham. He was one of the principals of the company and had quite the track record. He smirked at the students—making them melt in front of him. Mr. Darcy looked at him with disgust and continued addressing the students.
"That is all" he concluded, pausing for the student to applaud, which they promptly did. Lizzie reluctantly applauded as she stared at the man who had made the worst first impression. And in her experience, first impressions often last...