Tuesday: We need to all kick back and relax sometimes, right? So grab your purse and head down to the local spa and get ready to be pampered. Afterwards the day is yours to go and enjoy LA.
"And one more set of plies and we'll be done!" I exclaimed with a smile, wiping my brow with the cuff of my sweatshirt before joining the girls at the barre. Chasing around 10 four year olds for an hour twice a week during the beginners class I taught was exhausting, perhaps almost as much as my professional rehearsals for the company.
The music hit the mark I wanted to start from and so I got the girls attention and began counting out plies, doing them in sync with the little girls dressed in pretty light pink tutus.
"And nine... and ten!" I counted, finishing the exercise, and bending over to turn off the classical music filling the studio. "Girls, why don't you get your things from the cubbies and change your shoes, okay?" I turned to the double sided mirror that hid the parent's viewing room and waved mothers and fathers inside, and then got a quick drink from my water bottle before saying hellos to the parents quickly filling the studio.
As the studio began to clear of parents and dancers, a cute little dark-haired girl sat on the floor, struggling to lace up her sneakers. "Need some help, Alice?" I asked with a smile before sitting down across from her on the floor and helping her with the shoes, pink Converse high tops. "I like your shoes."
She smiled shyly, brushing her hair from her eyes. "Thank you, Miss Kori," she replied politely. "My daddy bought them for me," she added, her face lighting up. "He's a rock star and he says I'm a rock star princess. But I think I'm a rock star ballerina princess," she finished matter-of-factly.
I laughed. She's a cutie, I thought to myself. "Is your mom picking you up today?" I asked, looking around the room for her mother, one of those Hollywood types who called in her hairstylist just so she could make a Starbucks run. Alice had only been taking my class for about a week and a half and each time her mother had picked her up.
She shook her head and I stood up and then pulled her up with me. "My daddy is today." Suddenly something, or rather someone, behind me caught her attention. "Daddy!" she squealed, running over to a tall, dark haired man who had just come through the doors.
He picked her up and spun her around as she giggled. "Hi princess!" he grinned a dazzling, gorgeous smile, smothering her in kisses before putting her on his hip. "Hello," he said to me walking over and shaking my hand, "you must be Korinne."
"Please," I replied, shaking his hand and feeling suddenly embarrassed by my sweaty face and loose dance clothes, "Call me Kori."
"Marcus Gray," he said introducing himself, although I already knew who he was from my Rolling Stone subscription. Suddenly it all added up-- the separated parents, her glamorous A-list mother. There was only one missing puzzle piece and now it was standing in front of me. "It's nice to meet you. Alice has said a lot of great things about you."
"Isn't she pretty, daddy?" she pipped up. "Didn't I tell you she was pretty?"
"Yes honey, you did, she's very pretty," he answered, talking to her but looking at me, making my face flush to a bright pink. “How’s LA treating you? Getting used to it yet?”
I nodded. “I like it so far. I’ve made some friends, I don’t get lost every time I go to the grocery store anymore…” He laughed and I smiled, in disbelief I was even having this conversation. “I went to this cool concert the other night at the Roxy,” I added, thinking back to the fun I’d had with Avery, Megan and Kat.
“Oh, I love it there!” he exclaimed with a huge grin. “I played there when I first started out.” He paused and then continued. “I could show you some other places around town, take you out, if you wanted.”
Now I paused, unsure I could have heard him right. He stood waiting, a now sleepy Alice in his arms, and I answered with a smile. “Absolutely!” I replied. “I’d really like that, Marcus.”
“Great!” he said. “I’ll be in touch.”
“Can’t wait,” I responded, waving to Alice as he turned to leave. She waved back and almost as soon as the door closed behind them I turned toward the mirror, grinning at my reflection like an idiot. “What are you getting yourself into?” I asked myself, before turning to gather up my things, still smilling like a fool.