South Coast Academy Dancers:
Bela Galatsi School Dancers:
Miss Steinway, Dance Teacher
Mr Dollarbunch, Principal
Mr Hogan, Maths Teacher
Mr Ravinelli, Pizza House Owner
Rip Rawlings, Adjudicator
The Dance Studio
SONG 1 The Magic of the Dance
MISS STEINWAY: O.K. everyone, it’s improving, but there’s still a long way to go before we can perform this stuff. You’re all too tense; there’s too much friction. You gotta learn to loosen up. What we need here is some lubrication – and girls, more work at the barre.
KURT: Can we go down the Paradise Club then, Miss? There’s a bar there – with plenty of lubrication.
MISS S’WAY: That will not help your dancing, Kurt. But it might just upset your delicate equilibrium. Danny! What’s your problem? Are you injured or what? (girls snigger)
DANNY: No, Miss Steinway. I just ain’t had time to get to grips with this new routine yet. I only joined the school this semester.
MEL: Leave him alone, Miss, he’s doin’ better than those other guys already. He ain’t that bad. (The footballers look embarrassed and Danny looks surprised that Mel should choose to defend him.) And he’s sure better than those Beechwood ballerinas.
SAM: Yea? You’re just jealous that our dance school won all the honours at the festival last year while yours only got second place. (Sam’s friends cheer and boys laugh)
STEFFIE: So what if we did! It was only our first time in the festival. You wait! This year we’ve got you licked.
BIFF: Steady now babes, claws in. This stuff is for the girls’ locker room, not the studio. But if it’s action you’re after, I’m your man. Biff Bertolini, Casanova of the classroom, every lady’s man! (Boys roar and gesture)
SAM: Sure, they all talk about him; it gives them something to laugh about. MISS S Right now, class! That is quite enough time-wasting. We ALL belong to the same school and that’s what’s important right now. You all have so much talent, but it is wasted. You boys waste your time on fighting and you girls on bitching!
(Girls act disgusted)
What we need to do is to pull together.
KURT: (Mocking) What do ya mean, Miss? Pull the birds? (Much laughter)
MISS S: You know very well what I mean, young Kurt. You’re pretty smart – for a football captain.
AL: Get outa here, Lewis, you’re not welcome. This turf belongs to us. It’s our patch.
BIFF: Do as he says, man, or you could be re-arranged!
KURT: Yea, shuffled and dealt out in little pieces!
ARTHUR: Sent home to your mamma in the post!
SAM: You’re crazy, all of you. You spend too much time watching lousy movies.
LEWIS: Alright, have it your own way, but I only came to warn you, that’s all. (Starts to exit.)
STEVIE: Warn us what, you slime-ball? (Lewis is headed off and pinned down by several boys)
LEWIS: O.K, O.K., it’s just that the principal, Mr Dollarbunch, is headed this way. He wants to speak with this dance class.
MEL: And how do you know this, Lewis? He confides in you, does he?
LEWIS: Let’s just say, I have my sources of information.
BIFF: (Mocking) Let’s just say I have my sources.… We know very well how you get your information. If you and your crummy little gang ain’t listening at keyholes you’re using some poor little first-graders as punch balls until they tell you what you want to know.
KURT: You lot stink, and so does the pathetic rag you report to. You call it the school magazine. Huh! A third-rate comic full of lies, gossip and scandal.
(Lewis struggles in fury.)
BIFF: Rather like the New York Times, in fact.
DANNY: Get outa here, Lewis, while your heart is still beating.
MEL: Back to your boiler room. Go boil ya head, screwball! (Lewis scurries off, scowling. Arthur is at the door.) ARTHUR Wait up, gang! Our intrepid leader approaches.
KURT: Ed Dollarbunch, respected principal of Beechwood High, a school famed for its lack of fame.
AL: An establishment esteemed for its lack of esteem.
SAM: An institution renowned only for its anonymity.
ARTHUR: What’s amominity, Sam? MEL Never mind, Arthur.
(Enter the principal)
PRINCIPAL: Good morning to you, class.
ALL: Good morning to you, Mr Dollarbunch.
PRINCIPAL: I have come to bring you tidings of great joy.
DANNY: Sounds like he’s reading from the bible.
PRINCIPAL: I beg your pardon, young man! Did you contrive to enunciate with erudition?
DANNY: Sorry Sir, I have a cough.
PRINCIPAL: New boy, are you not? Daniel, if I’m not mistaken.
DANNY: Yes, Sir.
PRINCIPAL: Now, as I was about to say when Danny…coughed, I have some exciting news of great import. YOU are going to save this school. (Murmur of disbelief) Heretofore, we have never excelled in things academic. We have neglected to achieve in things sporting. And we have failed to register on the Richter scale of artistic endeavour. In short, we have achieved anonymity!
ARTHUR: Gee, he’s saying it now.
PRINCIPAL: However, I feel that the wind of change is blowing in our direction.
STEVIE: Oh no, Sir, that’s just Kurt. He’s been doing that all morning. You see, the footballers have these competitions to see who…..
PRINCIPAL: SILENCE boy, in the presence of your principal! (Becoming increasingly aggressive to the point of mania.) Beechwood High has, for the first time, been entered, by myself, into the state dance championships. (Gasps of horror) And we MUST win! If we do not …the board of directors will have my intestines for braces, my molars for mousetraps and my guts for garters. And you, you will all be sweeping the streets of our wonderful city. Now do I make myself abundantly clear? Is the amplitude of my anxiety manifest?
ALL: (Woefully) Yes, Sir.
PRINCIPAL: I beg your pardon?
ALL: (Slightly louder) YES, SIR!
PRINCIPAL: Good. Now, Miss Steinway, there will be no more free time until a routine is planned, prepared, polished, perfected and presented for my approval. Good day to you all! (Exits, leaving class open-mouthed and dumb-struck.)
MEL: (Dismally)The final nail in the coffin of Beechwood High.
CINDY: Now the school is sure to close.
MISS S: Have faith, dear girls. There is enough talent here to win the competition outright. All we need is teamwork. (Groans from the girls.)
KURT: Listen up, guys. I think the teacher is right. Why can’t we just work together, just this once? Put aside our differences. And when the competition is over – then you babes can tear each-others’ eyes out, just like you do every other day of the week.
SAM: I say we go for it. It’s gotta be worth a try. (Sounds of approval.)
MISS S: Have we gotten ourselves a deal? ALL Yea, why not, sure etc… (Boys give hi five etc..)
MEL: And, of course, the boys will be in the new routine. (All stop in their tracks. Danny looks for the reaction of the others.)
KURT: No way, man!
BIFF: Not a chance!
SAM: That’s the trouble with you guys, ain’t it. Full of bright ideas and big talk, just as long as you don’t lose any sweat over it. You’re pathetic!
JO: Well, if they ain’t interested we’ll just have to do the competition without them.
STEFFIE: We don’t need them. We can go it alone.
MISS S: Well what are you waiting for? Let’s get to work. Boys, scat! Had you not better go and prepare for the big game on Saturday?
BOYS: Suppose so etc..
MEL: It’s about time Beechwood had a win. We’ve been runners up fifteen times.
KURT: Hey, runners up ain’t so bad, man!
STEFFIE: What, runners up out of two? Get outa here!
MISS S: If you won’t be a part of this, lose yourselves, NOW! (Boys exit, reluctantly, grumbling.) Right girls, last twenty-four bars. Ready?
Reprise Song 1 (Boys sing as they exit and girls dance. Singing continues in the wings.)
End of Scene
Slick Score Samples
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Jorvik Theatre, Selby, England
St John’s College, Southsea, England
Rookesbury Park School, Wickham, Hampshire, England
Westward Ho! Youth Theatre, the Kingsley Hall, Westward Ho!, England
Southcote Primary School, Reading, England
Stage Craft Dance Studios, Winston Churchill Hall, Ruislip, Surrey, England
The Westlands School, Sittingbourne, Kent, England
Starmaker School of Drama, Glasgow, Scotland
Stagecraft Dance Studios, Winston Church Hall, Ruislip, England
Haig School, Gutersloh, Germany
Glenburn Primary School, Prestwick, Scotland
Brookland Junior School, England
St Peter’s C of E Primary School, Chorley, Lancashire, England
Ridgeway Primary School, Staffordshire, England
Bumble Bee Theatre School, Heathfield Community Centre, Sussex, England
DJMJ Amateur Productions, Dartford, Kent, England
Higham Lane School, Nuneaton, England
British Academy of Dance and Drama, Gillingham, Kent, England