Magic Ballerina 1-6, page 1
To Phoebe and Zoe, as they are the inspiration behind Magic Ballerina.
Magic Ballerina: Delphie and the Magic Ballet Shoes
1. Madame Zarakova’s School of Ballet
2. The Red Ballet Shoes
3. The Ballet Class
4. A Magical Land
5. Off to the Castle!
6. Dancing Magic
8. Home Again
Darcey’s Magical Masterclass
Magic Ballerina: Delphie and the Magic Spell
1. The Bluebird’s Dance
2. A Noise in the Night
3. The Glittering Palace
4. Delphie’s Plan
5. A Toad in Disguise
6. In Trouble
8. The Big Audition
Darcey’s Magical Masterclass
Magic Ballerina: Delphie and the Masked Ball
1. The Dress Rehearsal
2. A Surprise Visitor
3. King Rat’s Revenge
4. The Enchanted Lake
6. Saved by Swans
7. The Masked Ball
Darcey’s Magical Masterclass
Magic Ballerina: Delphie and the Glass Slippers
1. A New Term Begins
2. Off to Enchantia!
3. Time For the Ball!
4. Playing with Time
5. The Cloaked Figure
6. Foiled Again!
7. The Golden Locket
8. The Birthday Dance
Darcey’s Magical Masterclass
Magic Ballerina: Delphie and the Fairy Godmother
1. The New Girl
2. A Thorny Problem
3. The Prisoner in the Tower
4. The Wicked Fairy’s Palace
6. Back at the Palace
Darcey’s Magical Masterclass
Magic Ballerina: Delphie and the Birthday Show
1. In Class
2. New Shoes
3. King Rat’s Mischief
4. The Forest Fairies
5. Stolen Shoes
6. True Love
7. A New Beginning
Darcey’s Magical Masterclass
About the Publisher
Welcome to the world of Enchantia!
I have always loved to dance. The captivating music and wonderful stories of ballet are so inspiring. So come with me and let’s follow Delphie on her magical adventures in Enchantia, where the stories of dance will take you on a very special journey.
p.s Look at the end of each story to learn a special dance step from me …
In the soft, pale light, the girl stood with her head bent and her hands held lightly in front of her. There was a moment’s silence and then the first notes of the music began. For as long as the girl could remember music had seemed to tell her of another world – a magical, exciting world – that lay far, far away. She always felt if she could just close her eyes and lose herself, then she would get there. Maybe this time. As the music swirled inside her, she swept her arms above her head, rose on to her toes and began to dance …
Delphie hurried home, her breath freezing in the snowy night air. The houses on either side of the road had their curtains drawn – all apart from one – a big double-fronted house with iron railings and a gate. Two stone steps led up to the door and light streamed out of the windows. As the snowflakes landed softly on Delphie’s shoulders, she looked longingly at the brass plate, just as she had for the last four weeks since it had been open: Madame Zarakova’s School of Ballet.
A car drew up outside and two girls jumped out. They were about nine – the same age as Delphie – and had their hair tied back in neat buns.
“Come on, we’re going to be late!” one of them called as they ran through the gate and opened the front door. “Madame Za-Za will go mad!”
For a moment, Delphie caught sight of a long wide hallway with white walls and wooden floors before the heavy door banged shut behind them.
Delphie felt a wave of longing so strong it hurt. She wanted to be inside the ballet school about to have a dance lesson. She was ballet-mad but her parents had always put her off having lessons.
“Maybe when you’re a bit older,” her mum had said, kissing Delphie’s long dark hair. “The nearest dance school is on the other side of town. It’s too far to take you every week.”
But Delphie hadn’t been put off. She had borrowed books from the library and practised ballet exercises almost every day.
And she danced all the time – in the house, in the garden, she wasn’t even embarrassed to dance on the street! She loved the feeling of spinning, moving, jumping. It was hard to explain but, although she had never had any lessons, inside she just felt like she knew what it was like to be a real ballerina.
And now Madame Zarakova’s ballet school had opened on the very street she lived. But even that hadn’t helped her. Delphie did understand. After all, money was quite tight in their house.
“I’m sorry, sweetheart,” Mrs Durand, Delphie’s mum, had sighed. “We just can’t afford to send you there.”
Standing by the railings now, Delphie could now hear the faint sounds of a piano tinkling and, through the branches, she could see light from the big windows falling into the front garden. Shivering she pulled her coat closer around her as she looked over the railings.
The music and lights seemed to be calling her nearer. Slipping through the gate, she crept over to the house, peering in through the window. The room inside was large with mirrors on each of the four walls. Eight girls, all about the same age, were holding lightly to the barre, a wooden pole that was fixed around the wall of the room. They were all dressed in pink leotards with a ribbon round their waists, pale socks and satin ballet shoes with ribbons crossed neatly round their ankles.
They were gracefully bending and straightening their knees out over their toes.
“Pliés,” Delphie sighed longingly, recognising them from one of her books. Oh, if only she could be in there with them.
Madame Za-Za was walking around the room, talking to the girls and correcting a leg position here, an arm position there. She held her own body erect and her grey-streaked brown hair was pulled back in a bun. As Delphie watched, the girls began a different exercise, pointing their toes and sliding their legs to the back, front and side. Battements tendu, thought Delphie. All the girls looked good but there was one dark-haired girl who looked very graceful and seemed to find everything very easy.
Next the girls began sliding the foot that was furthest from the barre and lifting it off the floor, stretching out as far as they could and holding their free arm out to the side.
Delphie couldn’t resist. She began to join in.
Holding on to the windowsill, she performed the movement in time with the girls inside.
Sweeping her arm and leg to the side, she held them in perfect position, her toe pointed and heel raised from the ground. They moved quickly into practising quick, light movements.
Madame Za-Za said something to the girls and left the room. The class carried on working. Feeling very happy, Delphie continued to copy them. It was almost like being in there.
Then, suddenly, the front door s
Delphie jumped in shock and swung round. She had been concentrating so hard on the dancing that she hadn’t heard it opening. It was Madame Za-Za standing on the top step, staring at her!
Delphie froze to the spot. “I…I’m really sorry! I just wanted to have a look.”
“Come here, child!” Madame Za-Za called.
And with just a moment’s hesitation, Delphie hurried up the steps.
“Come inside, child” Madame Za-Za said. “What is your name?”
“Delphie Durand.” Delphie felt tears prickling her eyes. She was sure she was about to be told off. She blinked quickly; she hated crying in front of people.
“I saw you through the window,” Madame Za-Za said to her. “Where do you learn ballet?”
Delphie was very surprised by the question. “I…I don’t go to classes,” she answered. “I just read about it in books and practise at home.”
“I see.” Madame Za-Za looked at her for a moment. “Well, why don’t you come in?”
“Come in?” Delphie echoed.
Madame Za-Za nodded. “It’s cold out here and I think you would like to see around. Am I right?”
“Yes!” Delphie gasped. “I’d love to see inside.”
Walking in a daze, Delphie followed Madame Za-Za inside the school. They went down the warm, brightly lit corridor. “Here we have the dance studios,” Madame Za-Za explained, pointing to two rooms, one on either side.
“Wow!” Delphie breathed.
Madame Za-Za looked thoughtfully at her. “Do you have any ballet shoes, child?”
“No,” Delphie replied. She always just danced in bare feet.
Madame Za-Za gave a small nod and then set off down a dark corridor, opening a door at the end that led into a small storeroom. The walls were covered with shelves piled high with boxes, dusty books, ballet costumes and what looked like a chest full of new ballet leotards and socks.
Madame Za-Za went into the room and took an old, battered box down from a high shelf.
As Delphie watched, Madame Za-Za opened the lid to reveal a pair of old red leather ballet shoes with red ribbons, nestling among yellowing tissue paper. The leather was slightly crinkly, the insides of the shoes a deep cream. They were worn and slightly shabby but as Delphie looked at them, she felt a sudden urge to reach into the box. Her feet tingled as if they wanted to try them on.
Unable to stop herself she touched the soft red leather and then realising what she was doing, she pulled her hand back.
She looked up to see Madame Za-Za studying her face, her expression unreadable.
“Do you like them?” Madame Za-Za asked.
“Oh yes,” Delphie breathed. The ballet shoes might be old but they were beautiful.
“Would you like to borrow them, child?” Madame Za-Za asked gently.
“Borrow them!” Delphie stared in surprise. “But why would you lend them to me? I don’t even come here to classes.”
“If you like you can come back tomorrow and join in with the class you were watching,” Madame Za-Za said.
Delphie could hardly believe her ears.
“But…but…well, I’d love to but Mum and Dad can’t afford for me to have lessons.” She blushed as she admitted the truth.
Madame Za-Za waved her hand dismissively. “Money does not matter. Just come tomorrow as I ask.” Her eyes met Delphie’s. “I will teach you for free.”
Delphie’s mind spun.
“Go home now and tell your parents what I have said. They may ring me if they have any questions.” Madame Za-Za gave her the box with the ballet shoes and then turned and took a brand-new pink leotard and socks out of the chest near the door. “Bring these clothes and the shoes to wear tomorrow.”
Delphie looked down at the box in her arms. “What if the shoes don’t fit me?”
Madame Za-Za gave a mysterious smile. “Oh, I don’t think there will be a problem with that. I think you will find them the perfect size. They have been waiting for the right person to come along and something tells me you might be that person.”
Her eyes stared deep into Delphie’s. “They are very special shoes, Delphie. I hope one day you find out just how special they are.” Suddenly her tone became brisker. “Now, I must return to class. I will see you tomorrow, ready and changed for half past four sharp.”
“Thank you!” Delphie gasped.
Almost before she knew it, she was following Madame Za-Za back down the corridor and then she was back outside in the snow again. But Delphie didn’t feel cold. Excitement raced through her as she hugged the shoes to her chest. She rushed home to tell her Mum. She was going to start ballet classes tomorrow. She couldn’t wait!
Delphie could hardly concentrate in school at all the next day. All she could think about was her first ballet lesson. She was at Madame Za-Za’s school by four o’clock and had changed twenty minutes before the class was due to start.
As Delphie tied her long hair back into a bun, she looked at herself in the mirror and couldn’t stop grinning. She looked just like the girls she had been watching the day before. Well, apart from the fact that her shoes were red instead of pale pink but Delphie didn’t care about that. They were beautifully soft and they fitted her perfectly, just as Madame Za-Za had said they would.
Other girls started to arrive. The two who Delphie had seen running into the ballet school the day before were the first to get there. “Who are you?” one of them asked curiously.
“I’m Delphie,” Delphie replied.
“Are you just starting lessons here?” the other girl asked.
“Well, I’m Poppy,” the first girl said.
“And this is Lola.”
“Hiya Delphie,” Lola smiled.
Other girls started to pile in. They were just as friendly and at half past four they all went into the dance studio where Madame Za-Za was waiting for them.
They began with pliés at the barre. Delphie concentrated hard, trying to remember everything she had read in her books.
As she followed Madame Za-Za’s instructions, she felt herself relax and soon it was just as if she was practising in her bedroom at home but a hundred times better because she was in a real ballet class.
Madame Za-Za kept telling them all to keep their heads up and to smile but Delphie didn’t find that difficult at all.
The girls moved from the barre to working in the centre of the room. They went through the same exercises again and then practised arm movements, different poses and turns called pirouettes.
As they neared the end of the class, Madame Za-Za explained to Delphie that the class had been learning a dance from a ballet called The Nutcracker.
Delphie had read about The Nutcracker—a girl called Clara was given a nutcracker who looked like a soldier as a Christmas present by her uncle. Clara loved her new toy so much that she crept downstairs when everyone was in bed and danced with him before falling asleep.
“I think you had better just watch this bit of the class, Delphie,” Madame Za-Za said to her. “The others have been learning the dance for a while now.”
Delphie sat, feeling nervous, as the other eight girls took it in turns to hold a wooden doll which looked like a toy soldier and dance Clara’s dance. The dark-haired girl, who Delphie had found out was called Sukie, was the last to go. She moved very gracefully and didn’t wobble on any of the positions she held. Her turns were easy and smooth and her arms and head always seemed to be held perfectly in position. But even so there was something that wasn’t quite right. What is it? Delphie wondered.
Madame Za-Za was watching from near the piano. As Sukie finished and smiled, Madame Za-Za walked forward, shaking her head. “No, Sukie, Your hands, your arms, your placing were all good, but you are supposed to love the doll you are holding. I did not believe that when I watched you.”
Delphie realised she knew exactly what
Madame Za-Za turned to all the girls. “Ballet is about much more than just dancing – the real magic comes from telling a story and making the audience believe in that story.” Her eyes looked straight into Delphie’s. “Never forget that – always believe in it.”
Delphie felt a longing to do the dance herself. She wanted to be up there, wanted Madame Za-Za to be watching her, but it was too late – it was the end of the class.
As soon as she had got changed, Delphie ran all the way home. She couldn’t wait to tell her parents about it. This had been the best day of her life!
That night, when Delphie went to bed, she relived every moment of the class. I’ll have to learn the dance the others were doing, she thought, picking up a book that was lying on her bedside table which told all the stories from the ballet.
Delphie turned to the chapter on The Nutcracker. She wanted to know what happened after Clara’s dance. She read how, in the story, Clara dreams that the Nutcracker has come to life! Then the evil King Rat, with his army of mice, tries to fight the Nutcracker. Clara helps to defeat King Rat by throwing her slipper at his head, which knocks him out. Then the Nutcracker changes into a handsome prince and takes Clara on a magical journey to the Land of Snow and the Land of Sweets. She meets the Sugar Plum Fairy and lots of other amazing characters like the snowflakes and Jack Frost, the Rose Fairy and the Arabian dancers.
Delphie sighed happily as she read the end of the story. Turning off the light she snuggled down in bed, imagining herself dancing Clara’s dance, when suddenly she heard a faint tinkling sound and some faraway music. What was that?
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