Rule 41: Do not listen to unauthorised audio cassettes/CD
"Step ball change toe heel toe shuffle toe heel toe shuffle step ball change"
Kevin furrowed his brow and tried to concentrate on reading but it was difficult with the incessant sounds of tapping from next door. Not to mention Connor calling out the steps.
"Why do they have to have their tap rehearsals during study time?" Kevin said to his companion irritably. Arnold shrugged and carried on decorating his copy of the book with post it notes.
"If it was just him it might be ok, but then they all do it at the same time. It's just so loud"
"Well it is a rehearsal" Arnold said, "It would be stupid if they did it at different times"
The tapping stopped and Kevin muttered 'thank you' to no one in particular. He tried to bury himself in the book once more but as soon as he tried it started up again.
"For heavenly father's sake this is ridiculous! Shut up!"
The tapping stopped again. A pair of feet tapped its way to the living room and opened the door. Connor stuck his head round with a smile on his face.
"Did you want something darling?" He said in a sing song voice.
"I'm trying to read"
"Oh I do hope we're not disturbing you. We'll try to keep the noise of our laughter and joy to a minimum, just for you darling"
Arnold smirked as Kevin hunched over his book again. Connor tapped out the room and soon after, the sounds of the other elder's tap dancing reached them again.
"I wouldn't mind so much if we were doing it too"
"Oh so you're jealous" Arnold said looking at Kevin knowingly over the top of his glasses, "I see"
"What? No of course not"
"Well Connor's told you before why you can't join in. I'm not dancing and he needs an even number, they were rehearsing long before we came so you'd have too far to catch up, and mostly importantly, you can't dance to save your life"
"Yes I can"
"No Kevin you really can't"
"I can do everything"
Kevin turned his book over and stood up making towards the door.
"Where are you going?"
"I'm going to prove you wrong"
"Good luck with that"
Kevin tried to think of a retort but fell short and decided to just leave with whatever dignity he had.
He marched into Connor's room forcing the elders to stop dancing.
"Kevin we're trying to practice" Elder Neeley said joining a few of the other elders in glaring at him.
"I need to ask Connor something"
"Can't it wait?" Connor said exasperated, switching off the music.
"Fine what is it?"
"I want to dance"
The reaction was immediate. The elders burst out laughing.
"Watching's a very important role in dancing too" Connor said serenely, the trace of a smirk on his face.
"I want to dance" Kevin repeated more adamant this time.
"But you can't" Elder Schrader sniggered.
"Because...well because you can't"
"I can learn"
"Twenty says you can't"
"Elder Schrader! Gambling is a sin!"
"Twenty says I can"
"Oh shh Connor, listening to that music is against the rules too but I don't see you complaining"
"I can't let you bet twenty on being able to dance. It's too much money to lose"
"Will you teach me?"
Connor looked Kevin up and down contemplating.
"I'll split the winnings"
An hour later, Connor had moved the furniture to the sides of the living room and had taken everything off the shelves.
"Where is all the stuff?"
"I'm not risking you breaking anything" Connor explained, "Ok we'll start simply with some one sounds"
"Just copy me. This is a toe" Connor proceeded to show Kevin the simplest of steps for him to copy. Ten minutes later and he was already losing patience.
"No Kevin like this"
"No no not like that. Not like that at all"
"What are you even doing?"
"It's too hard" Kevin wailed stubbornly. Connor sighed, his hands on his hips as he watched Kevin flail with the steps a few moments more.
"Maybe tap's not for you. Why don't we try jazz or something"
"Jazz is a type of dance?"
"I'm sorry, I thought it was going to be easy"
"Just because you're really good at some things doesn't automatically make you good at everything"
"So what do we do now?"
"I hope you have twenty dollars"
"There must be an easy dance I can do"
"Do you want to try waltzing?"
Connor attempted to teach Kevin how to waltz. He didn't realise how difficult Kevin would be and was quickly discovering he had two left feet.
"That was my foot!"
"I said sorry"
"Maybe it would be easier if you led, then you'd be going forwards"
Kevin tried leading. Kevin failed.
"I give up" Connor said raising his hands exasperatedly.
"You can't give up, I never lose!"
"I'm sorry but this is impossible"
Kevin went over to the dilapidated cassette player where a slow waltz was playing. He flicked through some of the other tapes.
"There must be something I can dance to" he said desperately.
Later that day the other elders were sitting outside in the shade of a tree, books open on their laps as a pretence for their conversation.
"Do you think he'll do it?" Elder Davis asked.
"Are you kidding?" Elder Michaels laughed, "Kevin can't dance"
"Connor's teaching him though"
"Yeah but still, it's Kevin"
Elder Schrader wandered over from the direction of the mission hut a huge grin on his face.
"Guess who's winning a bet?"
"Is he that bad?" Elder Zelder said sceptically.
"I was watching him through the window. Yes he's that bad"
"This should be a good show"
"Well by the end of it Connor isn't going to have any feet left!"
It was later on still, when Connor and Kevin had been at it all afternoon that Arnold tentatively knocked on the door.
"What do you want?" Kevin said wiping his forehead.
"It's only me" Arnold replied stepping into the room, "The guys say that if you can't show them something in an hour you lose"
"You might as well give up now Kevin, save us all from second hand embarrassment" Connor said generously. Kevin flopped on the couch and kicked his shoes off.
"It's hopeless. But I can't lose, I never lose anything"
"Wait I have an idea" Arnold said rushing over to the pile of tapes and selecting one, "You can dance to this right?"
Kevin looked at the song and raised an eyebrow.
"No one can get this dance wrong so they can't fault you"
"I don't know..."
"Any better ideas?"
"Hang on a second" Connor interjected, "You're telling me I just spent all day teaching Kevin to dance so at the end of it he could do the macarena? I give up I'm done"
Much to Connor's chagrin, Kevin decided to go through with the plan which was the best chance he had of not losing the bet.
The elders eagerly gathered against the wall of the living room with stupid grins on their faces. It wasn't often they got to see Kevin Price fail at something and they all wanted front row seats.
"So what did you teach him Connor?" Poptarts asked already digging into a box of the treats as a pre show snack.
"We tried tap, jazz, waltzing, tango, salsa, I even showed him zumbaa for the hell of it. He wasn't much good at anything and I was losing hope"
"So what's he doing?"
The other elders could just stare as Arnold started playing the song.
"I don't know about you" Elder Schrader said to his companion, "But this is the most awkward thing I've ever seen"
"So incredibly awkward" Elder Neeley agreed.
Connor looked at the floor to avoid seeing everyone, the embarrassment visible on his face.
"Someone save him" Elder Church groaned, "I can't take this"
Arnold jumped in next to his companion enthusiastically if somewhat inaccurately joining in the dance. Gradually the elders trickled in most of them waiting until the next song.
Soon the living room had turned into a makeshift disco, the elders now flinging themselves into the first bit of fun they'd had for weeks.
Tap shoes and sparkly vests aside, the elders found themselves enjoying dancing most when Connor wasn't leaning down their necks enforcing strict choreography every second.