Lea decided to follow Lindsey’s advice to observe the after school programs and clubs in order to pick which one she wanted to join, so when she got home, she noticed that Cecile had put a note on her dresser saying she was sorry but she couldn’t play dolls that afternoon because she had too much homework. Poor Cecile, Lea thought, it’s the first day of school and she already has too much homework?! That’s terrible.
But Lea couldn’t help feeling a little relieved because that meant she could spend more time visiting the clubs. She felt so bad leaving her new doll, Gemma, behind yet again that day, so she took the doll backpack carrier and slung Gemma on her back with her camera out in front. Lea hardly ever went anywhere without a camera unless she was being filmed herself for the Dollympics.
First, she headed to the Soiree Ballet club. She watched as Chloe and the other dolls unpacked their bags and took off their jackets.
They joined other dolls, like Penny in some stretching exercises.
Then, they all headed to the ballet bar and practiced their positions.
Lea watched as their coached demanded they all move in perfect synchronization.
Then, it was time for a practice performance. Lea stepped to the side to watch them.
Each performer chose their favorite excerpt of their favorite ballet to dance to. This is neat, it’s like a ballet recital, Lea thought.
Ruthie performed an excerpt from Swan Lake.
Mary Grace pretended to be a life size doll who seems to come to life in her choice of Coppelia. That was easy for her to do, because she was already a doll!
Ruthie took a turn in the dance, playing Dr. Coppelius, who truly believes that Coppelia, the doll, has really come to life.
Dr. Coppelius falls in love with Coppelia and tries to woo her with his kisses.
But Coppelia is just a doll, who continues to dance.
Elizabeth performs the next dance as the Sugar Plum Fairy from the Nutcracker. She seems to float on the floor, Lea thought as she watched in awe. She had never seen such an amazing dancer this close before.
Although Elizabeth’s dance was mainly a solo performance, at the end, Isabelle, Ruthie, and Mary Grace danced around Elizabeth like water droplets and floating leaves falling all around.
Lea clapped hard as all the performers took their bows.
Gosh, it looks like a lot of work to be a ballerina and everyone is already so good. I’m not sure if this is the right thing for me, Lea thought.
Lea headed out the door where just across the street at a park, Tasha and Tanya were finishing a game of beach volleyball with Alison and Keisha.
Tanya threw up the last set and Tasha spiked it really hard.
Alison tried to save it but the ball was too fast.
“Hi Tanya, that was a great game,” Lea said, “would you ever be in need of another player like me?”
Tanya smiled, “We’ll certainly ask you to play if one of us can’t, and if you can get yourself three more players we could have three teams to compete against. That would be so fun.”
“I’m not sure if I can scrounge up three more players as dedicated as you guys but I’ll ask around. Thanks for keeping me in mind,” Lea said.
Lea couldn’t think of anyone else who would want to play beach volleyball except for Kanani. I’ll try to remember to ask her tonight. Her feet carried her down the block to the knitting and sewing club. Knitting and sewing sounds awfully boring, she thought, I can’t imagine anyone I know who would want to sit still enough to finish a project. Her eyes widened in surprise when she entered the room because it was completely packed and full of soft whirring and clicking noises.
“Hey look! It’s Lea,” McKenna called out waving a pair of scissors at her.
“Hey McKenna! I didn’t know you sewed.”
“Yeah, when Isabelle came and we took dancing and gymnastic classes together, she invited me to her house and showed me the designs she was working on. I kind of got inspired too and started to design my own gymnastic leotards.”
“Wow, that is so cool. I don’t know how to do any of that.”
Sophie looked up from her knitting needles, “Do you want to learn how?”
“Well, um. I don’t know. I guess not exactly. I don’t like sitting still for a long time, so I don’t think knitting and sewing are quite my thing, but it’s fun to talk to you guys and watch you work.”
Sara had been bending down, helping Maru at the sewing machine when she suddenly looked up, “Lea! You’re a photographer aren’t you?”
“I…yeah, I mean, I love taking pictures.”
“When we’re done with our projects, would you take pictures of them so we can showcase our work?”
“I’d love to do that! That means I get to see your finished products and not have to do any of the real work,” Lea said, very happy to be able to do something.
“It’ll probably be a while before we finish our projects,” said Jessica, “Look at mine. I just started.”
“Well you always have to start somewhere. Let me know anytime when you’re finished. I’ll see you all later. Bye!” Lea said as she walked out the door. Lea started to head home since it was getting kind of late, but she stopped at the park to watch Rose and Addy play soccer with Laurel coaching.
They were just kicking the ball back and forth trying to do it as fast as they could without making a mistake.
“Left foot only!” Laurel cried.
Addy had just enough time to groan as the ball headed toward her and she kicked it back with her left foot.
Rose kicked it right back.
Hmm, I think I’d rather play volleyball than soccer, although that does look like fun, Lea thought.
Lea had to pass the school again to get home and as she walked by the gym she could here yelling and cheering coming through the walls. She decided to go in and take a peek.
The cheerleaders were practicing for the basketball game which was going to take place the same night. They were having a cheer-out between the Lions and the Coconuts.
“More power to the hour.
More bounce to the ounce.
We’re the mighty Lions
and we’ll knock you out!”
“All across the nation
Is a red and white sensation,
Going to take you for a ride,
Move from side to side
Hey! can y’all feel it
Hey! can y’all feel it?” shouted the Coconuts.
Read all about it.
The Lions are here
and we’re proud to shout it,” the gold and purple Lions team shouted back.
Then they all got together and shouted:
“United we Stand
Divided we fall
It’s time to play
And suddenly the two on two basketball game was starting.
The teams were Katelynne and Beth wearing miss-match uniforms against Kirsten and Kathy wearing yellow and blue. Lea had a hard time taking pictures of the game because the players moved so fast. Kathy was so quick she ended up being just a blur in all of Lea’s pictures.
Lea knew she couldn’t stay very long at the basketball game.
She took a couple more pictures and started to head out of the school. She peeked in the window of one of the rooms where a quartet was rehearsing.
She had tried to play the piano once but she hadn’t wanted to practice and her mother didn’t want to fight with her so she quit. She knew how much work it took to play an instrument well, and although she loved listening to music, she didn’t want to play one.
She walked out of the doors of the school to find Sonali skateboarding off of the railings and Nellie and Lanie rollerblading.
“Hi Lea!” Nellie called as she sailed past.
“Lea, wait!” Sonali called.
“Did you see the school board? Did you hear the exciting news?”
“No I didn’t bother to read it.”
“Well guess what,” Sonali was practically jumping with excitement, “We are going to have the Master Chef Junior Doll Competition right here at our school! Isn’t that awesome? And guess who is one of the judges? The one and only Elanor Grace Thomas! She’s the greatest chef in all doll history. I can’t believe she is going to be in our school. She’s even famous in France!”
Lea had always wanted to learn how to cook, ever since she had started taking pictures of others artistic work in their cooking and preparing. She didn’t want to pass up this opportunity, “Oh, wow, can I still sign up?”
“Yeah, I think there are still a couple open slots on the sign up board.”
Lea turned right around and headed back into the school and signed up for the competition. She couldn’t wait to get started.