Dancing The Night Away - Weyrling Lesson

Characters Kate, N'sir, Oddisa, R'sner
Synopsis The weyrlings learn how to dance.
Out-of-Character Date April 16, 2020

Igen Weyr - Living Caverns
Second only to the Hatching Sands in size -- although its walls are not so nearly circular -- the living cavern is filled with numerous rectangular tables, almost too many to count. The Weyrleaders have the table farthest from the kitchen and hearths at one end of the cavern. The hearths are kept as low-burning as possible during the day when folk come inside to escape the heat outside. They burn brighter at night to keep away the deserts chill. No matter the level of flame, there is always a stew pot that hangs for nibblers at a good temperature. Favored drinks, particularly iced klah and juice, are kept on ice and interspersed at various food tables scattered about, along with baskets of rolls and fruit. There are, of course, scheduled mealtimes, and at certain points of the day the available fare slides into the menu for the nearest meal, be it breakfast, lunch, dinner, or late-night snackings, but the staff has long since acknowledged that people will sit to talk and nibble here at all hours. In the cooler parts of the evening in particular, the cavern hosts games of chess, checkers, dragonpoker, and others. Several degrees are knocked off thanks to the Technician Craft's cooling system.

Winter - Month 2 of Turn 2725

This winter evening sees the living caverns redecorated, tables pushed aside to provide a larger-than-usual dance space, once the general dinner crowd has cleared out. The weyrlings would have been forewarned; told to dress in comfortable clothes and to not eat too hearty a meal because dancing was on the docket. Those that already know how to dance — and might have thought themselves excused — will find that their presence is still required regardless. A few harpers have been commissioned for the lesson, and a merry tune is playing in the background to 'set the mood'. Probably because Harpers can't help but to play music even if it's not yet needed. And R'sner, dressed in his usual attire, stands waiting for his weyrlings to gather with a look more befitting a knight heading into battle, than a dance instructor awaiting his students.

While N'sir does not look exactly sullen as he follows R'sner into the living cavern, he /is/ grumbling a bit. "I still think it would be more interesting to teach them how to belly dance," is murmured under his breath. "How often do you see people dance to that kind of music in Igen." The 'that kind of music' is uttered with a glance for the harpers, the assistant weyrlingmaster shaking his head as he pushes curls out of his eyes. Still, he falls in line along side R'sner, exhaling a gusty breath that makes his displeasure more then abundantly clear.

Why do they need to learn to dance at all, N'sir? Kate joins the group neither late or early, right on time along with at least one of the other weyrlings. Dressed in her usual attire she'll settle to await further instructions.

The idea of dancing had Oddisa searching for a reason to avoid the entire lesson, she even glanced at the door to the infirmary before deciding she'd not lost her complete mind, yet. Arriving in a clean pair of black pants and a dark-blue, sleeveless shirt of loose material. In one hand she is carrying a pair of flat black shoes. Her long blonde hair has been pulled up into a messy bun, there's a riding crop sticking out of the back pocket of the pants, and she's barely on time. Tucking the shoes under a table, in case they are needed, she salutes R'sner and N'sir, "Evening, Sirs." Hearing the bit about belly dancing both eyebrows shoot up, and the look of fear mixed with 'shells no' is all over her features. Kate's arrival brings a tilt of the head and a raise of the chin, acknowledging the other blonde and scooting up next to her. Maybe she can hide behind the person barely bigger than her.

Why? Because they are dragonriders, and as dragonriders they are expected to represent the Weyr whenever they are outside of it. And part of that representation is knowing how to dance (and have proper dinner etiquette, and know the proper way to greet someone, and know the names of the Weyrleaders and Weyrwoman all over Pern, etc, etc). And it is something that R'sner would have no doubt lectured on until most (if not all) weyrlings had tuned him out for the sake of their sanity. But regardless of the reasons why, whether they be agreed with or argued, they are here. And R'sner? Frankly, he doesn't look any more pleased about it than they do. "Because it's not in Igen that they are likely to be dancing," is murmured in quiet rebuttal to his weyrmate's complaint, though the words themselves are mildly spoken. "Oddisa, lose the crop before I confiscate it," comes with a sigh. "And I don't want to know why you thought a dancing lesson might need one." Really. He doesn't. With everyone gathered, he takes the two steps required to put him within "speaking" range, and settles into his default 'instructor' pose. "Tonight you will be learning the basics of dancing. Those of you who already know will be assisting the other students. Those that don't know will be expected to pay attention. You will not become experts in one evening, so plan to be dancing each night after meals for the rest of the month." Yay? "N'sir and I will demonstrate the simple steps to begin with, and then we will wander around assisting as you try it yourself. Are there any questions before we begin?"

N'sir glances at the weyrlings as they enter, returning greetings with a mild nod of his head. Flipping his braid over his shoulder, he arches one brow at the riding crop tucked in Oddisa's back pocket, his lips twitching in a mild frown. Fortunately, the matter is handled by R'sner and N'sir simply opts for a sigh and shake of his head. It is R'sner's comment about dancing in Igen that has him flashing a wry smile. That there is a fair measure of humor in his gaze at that moment is a mystery only a few will ever solve. Still, he's stepping up when R'sner does, one hand resting on his hip as he listens to the instructions. "You all will just have to imagine me in a gather dress," he notes in lighthearted tones.

Kate gives a slight shake of her head at Oddisa's arrival. There is nothing new about that! Though the younger girl does earn a brow raise as well. Once R'sner begins speaking however her attention easily and quickly shifts. Sure, some might assume the trader knows the basics for this lesson, but they might be surprised too. The comment from N'sir about imagining brings a giggle and a smile. Hey, he's the one who brought it up!

Oddisa is not known for being the best listener in the group, determination might be on her side, but she's sat through an entire turn of this, and she's only lost 4 crops. Not willing to lose another, she grabs it from her back pocket and quickly hurries to place it with her shoes. Trying to seem apologetic and starting in on an explanation before giving up the idea and shrugging, both hands emphasizing that she's unsure of what the problem is. Crops are useful tools when dealing with a variety of situations, who knows when you might need one? Preparation is key. "Every night, all month?" The minor attempts to keep the are you serious out of her voice nearly fail, reigning in the outrage as best she can. Stifling a laugh, Oddisa is now grinning at the dress comment, nudging Kate gently with her elbow and shaking her head.

R'sner really doesn't need apologies; just obedience. When the crop is stowed, he's as satisfied as he's likely to be, and just as quick to forget about it. "Yes," comes in quick affirmative to that question. "Until you've mastered it. Pay attention and learn fast, and you'll be done all the faster." An arched eyebrow comes as N'sir sets Kate to giggling, and while there might be some amusement in the weyrlingmaster's eyes, he'll keep his own comments to himself. "Watch carefully," comes with another slant of his gaze toward the weyrlings, before he's facing N'sir. One hand at his hip, the other holding his hand and, with some silent cue that is undoubtedly perceived by N'sir alone, they move. It is painfully slow, about half the speed the dance would normally be, and each step is spoke aloud by R'sner for emphasis. This is a lesson after all; he's not trying to wow anyone.

N'sir happens to look outstanding in a gather dress, particularly when he leaves his curls free of their habitual braid. Course, he can't help a wink at Kate at her giggling, his own chuckle sounding quietly. The moment that R'sner moves in to position, his free hand comes to rest just past the crook of the weyrlingmaster's elbow, his posture going straight as he allows himself to be led through the half speed steps. Of course, at some point, he's likely to insist on a flourish, but for now, he's content to take things slow and easy.

Kate sends a smirk back towards Oddisa at her nudge, though the look that follows is one that silently reminds her to pay attention. Green eyes focus on R'sner and N'sir as the lesson begins, a slight nod at each step as its announced by the Weyrlingmaster as she tries her best to memorize them.

Everyone learns differently; Oddisa is a doer. Watching, she mimics each step, side to side, back and forth with a quiet jerk of her head up and down as she repeats out loud what R'sner says. Focusing hungrily, due to her free time being on the line, the stakes are high. Standing in place, she's only moving a fraction back, forth, left and right there's a chance she jostles Kate in her mirroring. "Alrigh', if we get it down, we can be free." Setting her mind to the task and narrowing her gaze to watch the feet, the hands, mind working as fast as it can. Nothing motivates Odi like not having to do something she doesn't want to.

At least R'sner is doing his best to make it easy to follow, even if it comes with a considerable space between himself and his weyrmate. At least it started with a considerable distance between himself and his weyrmate, but as they continue through the song and (hopefully) the weyrlings are catching on, that distance goes away. His hand slides around N'sir's waist, pressing into the small of his back, bringing him flush. And with a hint of a smirk that is definitely meant for his weyrmate, the pace is suddenly quickened until they are, in fact, dancing as the dance is meant to be danced. But perhaps thankfully (at least for those watching) it ends a moment or two later, R'sner bringing them to a halt where they began and, a second later, releasing N'sir and turning toward his students. "Alright. Pair up, and see what you remember."

The moment he's drawn in closer and the pace has picked up, N'sir exhales a merry laugh, the smirk (However hinted at) earning the weyrlingmaster a brilliant smile. Unfortunately, it ends all to soon and N'sir takes a moment to draw in a slow breath and lightly clear his throat before falling into place at R'sner's right hand. "Slowly," he adds. "No quick stepping until you are certain you have the steps."

Kate sidesteps as Oddisa bumps into her, a glance as she regains her footing (which really doesn't take much) before she looks back to the demonstration. Even if N'sir was complaining about dance lessons right along with the weyrlings he does kinda of enjoy it. Doesn't he? But then it's their turn to try, so turning to Oddisa, being that she's closest she offers a hand. "Partners?"

Following along well enough until it gets fasters and then it's a jumbled mess, Odi unable to keep up due to lack of muscle memory and the fact that she's got not crop to help herself with leg queues. Or something. As they finish, she glazes over, attempting to SHARE the responsibility of remembering all of this with Ori, who refuses. WHELP. Staring around at the other girls, she's trying to decide how much she dislikes Libby today before Kate saves her. "Thought you'd never ask." And force her to. Taking the offered hand, she leads the way out, making room as best she can and planting a hand on her friend's rib cage. "Alrigh', so it's…" Drat, she's not totally sure, and it's clear she's attempting to remember. "First Left." Alright, so she knows that. The rest will come, right?

His hand still firmly planted on the small of N'sir's back, R'sner surveys the weyrlings as they pair up. Already there's a grimace because "Amee, you have to dance with someone. You can't dance alone. Not this time." Maybe later. But right now? Partners are required. "Figure out who is going to lead," he says, the suggestion meant for the group. A little nudge of his hand, and he's starting to make the rounds. And while he just said they should figure it out? He's gonna interject on Kate and Odi with a murmured, "Kate, you lead first." Why? Because it seems safer somehow. >.>

N'sir slants a glance at the weyrlingmaster, his lips twitching at the corners as he draws in another slow, deep breath. At the nudge, he steps forward, murmuring something reassuring to Amee before pairing her up with Libby and getting the two sorted with Libby leading. Still, there is a moment or two taken to adjust postures and frame, both girls shoulders rolled back into a proper stance. "Half speed," he suggests before moving back over to R'sner. "We could triple time," he whispers.

Kate following Oddisa to their space on the floor as they setup she shifts the goldrider's hand down her her waist before settling her own on the other girl's. That much she does know, or remember, whatever the case may be. "Yes, sir," she replies turning a glance towards the Weyrlingmaster as he gives that direction. "Sorry if I step on your feet," she offers preemptively to Odissa. The first few steps she can walk through well enough, even if there are a few stumbles in placing her feet, but somewhere along the line it's sure to get jumbled. Dancing will take some practice.

As R'sner lets Kate lead, there's a bit of a frown in his direction, but she's willing to do anything it takes to get through this. Dignity, or pride, might have to take a back seat. "You'd be the lightest thing to step on my foot in turns." Odi suppressing a laugh at her own joke, and she follows along readily enough, avoiding glancing down though there's a constant desire to watch her feet move. "Eyes up, chin up, shoulders back…" Speaking in a whisper out loud, and not finishing the sentence with heels down, hands soft. Though one can assume it's what she's thinking of. As N'sir sets others up, they are watched for any signs of mastery that might help her and Kate. "If I'm ever invited to a dance I'll give yu my knot, yu can go for me." Modern problems require modern solutions.

Honestly, watching ones feet might be allowed at the beginning stages. But really, it's not a very complicated pattern to learn. A little tripping over one's ankles might happen, but otherwise, each weyrling pair should be making a nice, neat little square within their own space. And R'sner? Happy to sit back and watch. To offer instructions, or encouragement, as needed. And, of course, to quirk a little half-smile at his weyrmate for the suggestion. "Later. When they've got the pattern down," he promises. And while he might not steal a kiss (because that would probably be Highly Inappropriate) he'll still lift a hand brush a few curls from N'sir's cheek. "You're doing great," he decides, for those dancing pairs. Because, well… no one's fallen yet, right? Perspective!

"I'm going to hold you to that," N'sir whispers as he tilts his head into the hand brushing his curls. Despite the conversation, though, his gaze is on the dancing pairs, a quick instruction called to Amee and Libby to straighten their spines and tighten their arms. "Your frame being right makes all the rest fall into line that much easier," he notes to all the weyrlings.

The pattern might not be terrible difficult, but getting feet to follow it without a little tripping over ankles as it were is another story. "Yeah, well," Kate laughs for Oddisa's comment. Runners, right. There is stepping on toes, like it or not. "No," she shakes her head, "You can keep your knot and make your own appearances."

Kate doesn't agree to the idea and her toes getting stepped on gets the smallest of glances down, able to ignore it because she's wearing boots. Hopefully, her partner is also wearing heavy footwear, because Odi absolutely has a few fumbles that will end in squished tootsies. "Woops, shards." She'd not said that word in three days and was on a streak of sorts until this moment. N'sir's instruction has her standing up straighter and pulling her abdominal muscles in to press her chest forward and shoulders back. Eventually, the pattern begins to come together, they're not the best, but they're not the worst either. The praise from R'sner has her pushing to speed up a touch.

"Slow," comes in a tone of warning the moment any speed is detected. "This isn't a race; it's about learning the moves. Speed won't get you out of it any faster." He's totes on to you, Odi. As the dancing continues, the need to offer instructions becomes less and less and, as a few of the weyrlings that do know how to dance start making the rounds to assist, R'sner feels perfectly justified in turning to sweep his weyrmate back into his arms. "You know I always keep my promises," he murmurs, amusement and affection both in the weyrlingmaster's eyes. Hopefully those weyrlings can manage on their own, because a second later and R'sner is leading N'sir in a dance that is far faster and far more intricate and, of course, requires his full attention.

N'sir exhales a delighted laugh as they take to the floor. Sure, it's showing off, but dancing is one of their favorite things and there is no way he would even consider complaining. Instead, he keeps pace with the weyrlingmaster, his braid whirling out behind them like a tail as the spin tight circles through the intricate steps. Of course, while it could on it's face be taken as showing off? The simple fact of the matter is that eventually, with enough time and effort most the weyrlings will be able to do the same. Eventually. The steps though are far, far closer to a Tango then a waltz, moments of it bordering on Rumba.

"Slow down," Kate's words nearly echo R'sner's as she tries to hold Oddisa back from speeding up too much right off. They'll get there, just not right away. At least she has boots too, which save her toes a little. At least they can blame each other for those sore toes later. They are getting better though as the practice goes on.

Oddisa slows down, first at R'sner and then to keep Kate happy though it's obvious she's willing to try and hurry through it. As time goes by, they speed up naturally, more confident even if they don't do anything but the square they were initially assigned. Watching N'sir and R'sner, there's quiet observation and a shrug to show she's impressed, one side of her mouth twerking in appreciation. For now, it's a square, a simple waltz because they are getting through this weyrlinghood on the C's still make Degree's plan.

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