Leaps And Twirls Around The World No 3 - Finding Footsteps - A New York City Adventure!
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It was a perfect spring day outside of Jewels, Miss Julie's Dance Centre, but inside the dance studio things were anything but perfect. "Energy, my Jewels! Where is your energy?" Miss Julie was very frustrated with her jazz dance students who looked more like wilting flowers than dancers.
Leapsetta, otherwise known as Leaps, and Twirlsabelle, who liked to say, "Just call me Twirls," had just finished a dance combination that looked terrible. Most of the class had low kicks, wobbly turns, leaps that hardly left the floor, and steps that were too slow for the music.
Miss Julie called her dancers 'jewels' because when they danced, they each shined in their own special way. However, today Miss Julie asked,
"My Jewels, where is your shine? A-a-a-ah, I know what the trouble is," she said, "You all have spring fever!"
"You're right!" one of the more advanced students called out. "I keep thinking of being outside at the park."
"I've been thinking about how much I want to ride my bicycle." another dancer admitted with her head hung low.
"I can't stop thinking of the picnic I'm going on with my friends this weekend." said a student from the back of the room.
Leaps and Twirls were quiet because they both knew that they didn't have spring fever. They didn't miss being outside in the sunny, warm weather; they missed traveling under the dance floor to new and exciting places. It had been a whole year since Leaps and Twirls disappeared through the dance floor while practicing their dance steps, ending up in faraway Bern, Switzerland, and how could they forget flying above the clouds to Madrid, Spain with the wind in their faces?
The friends looked at each other and read each other's thoughts. It was time for another adventure!
Miss Julie decided that everyone should take a refreshing break sipping delicious, nutritious drinks at Miss Julie's Juice Bar. The new juice bar at the entrance to the dance centre had apple, orange, and grape juice drinks, however the fruit smoothies were especially popular.
"Twirls, why haven't we gone through the dance floor in such a long time?" Leaps whispered while sipping her strawberry banana smoothie.
"I don't know," Twirls answered while twirling her straw in her blueberry smoothie. "We tried old steps, new steps, high steps, low steps—all the steps we know steps, but they didn't work." At that moment Miss Julie passed by with her own smoothie and said to the girls in barely a whisper, "Remember, new steps bring new adventures."
Back in the studio the class performed the combination again and there were bursts of energy everywhere! The smoothie and juice break seemed to jazz up everyone's steps!
Some dancers looked like they were going to dance right out the door, but Leaps and Twirls danced right through the floor!
The next thing they knew, they were flying above many tall buildings and below was a big bustling city packed with energy everywhere they looked.
"Yay! We're finally flying again. I can't believe it!" Twirls shouted.
"I'm so excited!" said Leaps. "I feel like leaping from building to building!"
Suddenly a beautiful bird with bright colourful feathers flew right in between Leaps and Twirls. Its feathers glistened in the afternoon sunshine.
"Welcome to New York!" the bird announced.
Leaps and Twirls had never seen a talking bird before.
"Follow me!" it said, and off it flew leading Leaps and Twirls through the exciting city to a big park that looked like great fun.
"Landing in Central Park!" the bird called.
They landed on a grassy hill near a pond full of rowboats.
The girls thought this looked like a perfect place to start their new adventure.
"What's your name?" Leaps asked the bird.
"My name is Zoebird Dancer. I am the third generation of dancing birds in my family," the bird said proudly. "My grandmother is Hildabird Dancer, my mother is Susannabird Dancer, and as I said before, I'm Zoebird Dancer but you can just call me Zoe."
"I'm Twirls and this is my friend, Leaps. We are dancers too!"
"I knew it! I just knew it!" Zoe shouted with such excitement that she shed a bunch of her feathers. "Let's create a dance together and then perform it on Broadway! What do you say Leaps and Twirls?"
"That sounds like amazing fun!" Leaps said.
"Let's do it!" Twirls agreed, "...but how will we create a dance?"
"Look for the footprints, red, green and blue. Explore New York City and create a dance too." Zoe said.
Leaps and Twirls could tell that she was very proud of her rhyming.
"Now, my new dancer friends, are you ready to search for the red footprints in the park?" "Absolutely!" said Leaps as she performed a soaring leap on the grass.
"Definitely!" Twirls said as she twirled three times.
They searched near the pond with rowboats and even searched around another pond where people were sailing little boats by remote control.
There were no red footprints.
They passed cafes, a big Alice and Wonderland statue, and people in the park picnicking, but still didn't see any red footprints.
Finally the friends came to a wide tree lined path which was full of people walking and talking, artists selling pictures, and musicians playing.
"I sure hope we find those footprints soon," Leaps said.
Zoe and Twirls agreed.
What grabbed their attention at that moment was a man showing an enormous bubble to children in the park.
Then he ran, dipped down, turned and jumped through the air.
The long bubble looked as if it were dancing along with him.
The bubble popped right above a set of red footprints.
"There they are!" Leaps, Twirls and Zoe said at once.
"Step on the red footprints and see what happens." Zoe said.
As soon as they did, the three friends ran, dipped down low, turned and jumped as high as they could.
Leaps and Twirls laughed and laughed. They felt magical and free when they danced on the red footprints, as if the footprints were giving their bodies amazing energy to dance way up to the sky.
"Next stop Top of the Rock!" Zoe announced.
She lifted up into the air with Leaps and Twirls, flying higher and higher until they were soaring above the tallest trees, and then above the tallest buildings one after the other.
"Look at all those cute little yellow bugs down there!" Leaps shouted.
"Those aren't bugs," said Zoe, "...they're taxis!"
All three friends laughed while landing on top of an extremely tall building.
They felt like they were still in the clouds, only they weren't flying anymore.
All around them were incredible views of New York City.
"Hey, Zoe, you said we were going to the top of a rock, but I feel like I am on top of the world!" Twirls said.
"Top of the Rock is the tallest building in the very popular Rockefeller Center and we are on the 70th floor!" Zoe explained.
"Wow!" Leaps and Twirls cried.
Zoe showed them a spectacular view of the Empire State Building and also showed them an enormous green rectangle.
"I bet that green rectangle is Central Park!" Twirls said. "That's right!" said Zoe.
"Being up here way up high above the city makes me want to leap." Leaps said, and then pretended that she was leaping over buildings.
"I feel like twirling and twirling and twirling," Twirls said, pretending that she was twirling from rooftop to rooftop. Then she got slightly dizzy so she stopped twirling.
"Now guess what we need to search for?" Zoe asked.
"The green footprints!" Leaps and Twirls exclaimed together.
"Very good!" Zoe said.
The friends looked around the entire rooftop, in between people's feet and in every corner until finally they saw the green footprints right by the gift shop!
They all did leaps and twirls from footprint to footprint and even stood the highest they could on their tippy toes, feeling as high as the tallest buildings in the city.
They felt like they could dance forever on those footprints, but then suddenly they lifted off into the sky and flew once again over the magnificent city with the wind in their faces.
Leaps and Twirls didn't know where they would land next but they followed Zoe feeling very excited for their next adventure.
After a breath-taking flight over the city, they landed on a big ferryboat!
Minutes later they were standing on Liberty Island, staring up at the glorious crowned lady who was holding her torch high.
"Wow, she is gigantic!" Leaps cried.
"The Statue of Liberty was a gift from the people of France, and is a symbol of freedom for people everywhere," Zoe said, her colourful feathers puffing with pride.
The friends started to circle Liberty Island looking for none other than the blue footprints.
They knew it wasn't going to be easy with the crowds of people looking up at Lady Liberty and taking pictures with their own imaginary torches in the air.
"How are we going to find those footprints with all these people on the island?" Twirls asked looking a bit worried.
"If only we had a magical torch that would show us where the blue footprints are," Leaps wondered aloud.
After a challenging search, the footprints weren't in front or in back of Lady Liberty, they weren't close to the New York City skyline view, or anywhere it seemed.
"We can't give up!" Zoe said.
The friends circled the island a second time, but they had only found a messy looking brown and white footprint which was actually where someone's ice cream sandwich had fallen on the ground and was stepped on.
"Lady Liberty, if you know where the blue footprints are, please tell us!" Twirls shouted, but Lady Liberty kept silent. "Let's get something to eat at the café," Zoe suggested. "If we are going to continue searching, we need more energy."
Right in front of the café door was a wonderful sight—the blue footprints!
"Finally!" "Hooray!" "We found them!" the friends cheered.
Once on top of the blue footprints, they felt like doing a freedom dance of their own-- kicking their legs high while reaching their arms up in the air—and in Zoe's case, her wings-- like they were holding their own special torches.
After much searching and energetic dancing, Leaps, Twirls and Zoe had very big appetites and they each enjoyed several slices of pizza at the café.
While sailing away from Liberty Island on the ferryboat, they waved goodbye to Lady Liberty.
As the sun set over the city, the three friends knew that their red, green and blue footprint searching was over, and that meant it would be time to perform their dance very soon.
Just as the boat docked, they soared up into the evening sky and took one last flight over the exciting city. In a magical moment, Leaps, Twirls and Zoe were standing on Broadway looking at all the colorful lights of Times Square light up the night.
There were so many people and so many bursts of colour, Leaps and Twirls didn't know where to look first.
"We've made it to Broadway, my friends!" Zoe shouted.
While they walked around taking in all the action, Zoe took turns riding on Leaps' and Twirls' shoulders and called out several times:
"Have you heard the word? Zoe is the bird. Twirls and Leaps have amazing dancing feet!" Then she told her friends, "Let's perform our dance now!"
Leaps, Twirls and Zoe knew exactly what to do.
They ran, dipped down low, jumped and turned, waving their arms or wings in the sky like they were holding bubble wands, they leapt, twirled and danced on their tippy toes feeling as high as the tallest buildings in New York, and they kicked their legs high while reaching their imaginary magical torches in the air.
They found the footprints, red, green and blue; they explored New York City and created a dance too!
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