Confessions of a Backup Dancer

BOOK: Confessions of a Backup Dancer
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as told to Tucker Shaw

New York   London   Toronto   Sydney

If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”


If you purchased this book without a cover, you should be aware that this book is stolen property. It was reported as “unsold and destroyed” to the publisher and neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this “stripped book.”

This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

First Simon & Schuster edition June 2004

Copyright © 2004 by 17th Street Productions, an Alloy company.

Cover copyright © 2004 by 17th Street Productions, an Alloy company.

An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020

Produced by 17th Street Productions, an Alloy company
151 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10001

All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

For information address 17th Street Productions, 151 West 26th Street, New York, NY 10001.

Simon Pulse and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Printed in the United States of America

10 9 8 7 6 5 4

Library of Congress Control Number 2003115035

ISBN-13: 978-0-6898-7075-0

eISBN-13: 978-1-4391-2137-5

For you, you diva. (You know who you are.)


Kelly Kimball

April 19, 1986. Aries. I just hit the big 1-7 last month. I got a sarong from my boss at Beatz Beachside Dance Studio (see below), two gift certificates to CD Mania from mom and Evan, and this personal diary software from tito.

San Diego, California. That should do it.

dancing. It's pretty much all I do. ever since I was a little kid. First it was tap and ballet. Then jazz. Then modern. Now hip-hop and believe it or not more tap. I kind of like it. It's also my job. Well, sort of. I'm not really a dancer but I work at Beatz Beachside Dance Studio over on san pedro street, which is nowhere near the beachside but whatever. They pay me pretty well (and I SERIOUSLY need the money, especially now that my mom's latest husband pretty much spent all of our savings on his own annoying little perfect-blond twin girls, staci and traci) plus I get to take free classes, which I'd never be able to afford.

The girl in Alias. Wade Robson (yeah, he's annoying on that show and everything but he's pretty amazing as a dancer and whatever. that means something to me). Rochelle Ballard, Savion Glover. Britney Spears. (Don't ask, I just like her. I know she doesn't sing as good as Christina or whatever but I don't care I still like her better.) And of course, mostly, Darcy Barnes. Not because I love love love her music or anything, but
she's pretty amazing if you ask me and I dig the way she dances. In fact I know pretty much all the routines from her videos. she's definitely the biggest pop star out there. Plus she was pretty funny when she hosted SNL the other night, gotta love that.

Favorite Daydream:
Me. Jesse Nixon (that VJ guy or whatever with the spiky little faux mohawk. Or is it faux hawk? Anyway …), a deserted beach, big sunset, coconuts, skinny dipping. Maybe a blender. Anyway, add it up. Actually Justin Timberlake would do, too. Or maybe Nick Lachey. Nah, not Nick Lachey. But definitely Justin. And Jesse obviously. Except I heard he was going out with Darcy. Whatever, this is only a daydream so who cares.

Greatest Accomplishment:
winning the All-City Modern Dance Invitational and the All-City Hip-Hop Dance Invitational in the same year, last year. I gotta defend my titles this fall.

Most Embarrassing Moment:
too many to mention, can I come back to this one?

Favorite Book:
Biography of Martha Graham. also I like Stephen king books. and I got off on some of those Gossip Girl books too.

Three Reasons to Love Me:

  1. I'm always totally honest.
  2. I have pretty good taste in clothes, music, and people.
  3. I have memorized every dance routine from every
    TRL top-3 video not to mention every video on 106 and Park and I have the videotapes to prove it.

note: the diary software made me fill out that dumb form.

I guess they put in that last entry to help boost self-esteem. Frankly, I need all the help I can get in that area. What 17-year-old girl couldn't? I mean, everyone keeps telling us we have none, you know? how all us teen girls are a bunch of insecure, impatient, overindulgent freaks. if a girl's not careful she could start to believe it.




postman pants, black sleeveless tee with small but horrifying deodorant stain under left breast. (Was it there all day?)

a disaster. the roots aren't funny anymore.


Signs can lie. (I'm getting fortunes from this website tito told me about, they send a newsletter to my email every day along with like 35 ads but whatever, I like the fortunes.)

I was seriously bored at work today. Manning the front desk of Beatz Beachside Dance Studio in San Diego can be totally mind-numbing, especially when the only class going on is a seniors swing class in the far studio, studio C. Old people seniors, not high school seniors.

Anyway, I was reading some gossip online about Darcy Barnes and Jesse Nixon, the reigning teen king and queen of the pop universe (as seen on (M)TV!), and how they're supposedly secretly dating or something, the article said something about a house they'd bought together in the Hollywood Hills or one of those places. seems weird that they're dating even though they've known each other since they were like seven and on that Please Don't Do That on Television show or whatever it was called. I don't know if they're going out or
not, but I guess it's kind of fun to think about. and I know one thing, if she's not dating him, she's a fool cause he is FINE.

I was so bored I read the article three times and was starting in on a fourth when the lovely Tito, my best friend in the universe who works at We Bop! the super-expensive tween boutique next door, threw open the front door and rescued me.

“hey girl!” he yelled. “look what I found in the back of the boutique! go try this on.” he held out a baby tee with a cowboys and Indians scene on the front.

I go, “Tito I'm gonna look like a waitress at some goofy western-themed bar where the waitresses wear daisy dukes.” Tito just goes, “Go try it on. it costs $85.”

I was like, “what idiot spends $85 on a baby tee?” then I asked tito to watch the desk for a sec so I could go try it on. I ducked into this empty practice room, slipped off my sleeveless shirt, and pulled the new t-shirt over my head. with mirrors on three sides, I could see immediately that it fit perfectly.

perfectly, that is, if I was, for example, Darcy Barnes.

I mean, this t-shirt
. Tight. My boobs never looked bigger, they weren't darcy barnes's size, of course, because all I got is a b-cup. ok, b-minus. ok, fine, I'm an a.

I stared at my reflection for a while, humming that old-school Darcy Barnes song “Love You Like a Lollipop,” which happened to be drifting in from the lobby. swaying,
watching my belly button swoop and drop and twist. it was riveting.

it took a moment before I realized I'd actually started doing the steps to “Lollipop,” which I'd learned from watching the video about 400 million times. (I have the DVD, so sue me.) Anyway, before I knew it, I was totally going for it. my feet were racing, my head swinging, my hips shaking. the beat was constant but irregular … each verse had a bar where the tempo dropped, but I knew when those passages were coming and was ready for them. my body was cruising from beat to beat. I was becoming darcy herself.

I'd done it—I'd entered that zone you reach when you're dancing and you're completely consumed by the music, and your feet bypass your brain and carry your body weightlessly. That place where you stop thinking and start feeling. it doesn't happen every day, in fact it's pretty rare. I guess every dancer probably calls it something different. But Tito and I call it going THERE.

I was two bars away from the part in the video where the guy lifts darcy by one foot and tosses her into a backflip, and I realized I needed a guy. without warning, tito slipped in behind me. I never thought, “Where did he come from?” because Tito's just like that … always there when you need him. And THERE when I needed him. His hands came out, my foot went up, and I executed a flawless backflip.

Then, just like in the video, Tito faded into the background and I took the last few bars of the song solo. I spun, ground, whirled, and writhed, tito squealing the whole time. “WORK! WORK!”

I guess that means he liked it.

the music changed to some totally stupid Jewel song or something and tito and I went back into the lobby.

he goes, “that was flawless, Kel … seriously flawless. you are way better than any of those hooches in the darcy video.”

tito is my total positive-feedback support-system best friend, and there's nothing I wouldn't do for him. but this fact sometimes makes me distrust comments like that. like, he's supposed to say that. he's my best friend, you know?

I go, “shut up! besides you could easily be one of the boys in the video. especially the one in the hockey jersey.”

he goes shut up. he handed me a Twizzler and goes, “Listen Kelly I know I've got a lot to offer, but you're, like, on another level with the dancing. you're really GOOD. when you dance it feels so REAL. everyone's always talking about REALNESS all the time but you've got it.” he goes, “Even Darcy Barnes is plastic. but you, Kelly Kimball are not. You're the real thing. REAL, girl!! Da real thang, G!!”

it cracks me up when tito gets all ghetto on me.

“Besides,” he goes, “you're an aries and you were born
in the year of the tiger. what do you expect? you're a BORN superstar. you need to believe that. do you believe it?” I was like whatever. and he goes, “No, not WHATEVER. do you believe it or not?”

BOOK: Confessions of a Backup Dancer
5.14Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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