"FOOTSTEPS" by Melanie Hopkins (Sample)
Dance Hall in Sheffield. Energetic salsa music is playing. The stage lights up as we see SASSY centre stage leading the dance. There are three women behind her struggling to keep up and losing focus, all actors face the audience. The women begin to leave one by one the more she goes on.
SASSY: 5, 6, 7, 8. 5, 6, 7, 8. Come on ladies, pick it up, pick it up, pick it up.
You gotta work it out, work it out. Move those hips Carol. Da da da da da, da da da da da, we can zumba, cha cha cha.
(musically) And slide over to your left.
(normal) Your other left Denise.
I know we’re sweating and we’re tired but perseverance ladies! We’re not gonna get them beach bodies by doing nothing! Cha, cha, cha, cha, cha. Aaaaaaand SPIN!
She spins and realises nobody is there.
For fucks sak— Every bloody time.
She goes to turn the music off and gather her things
I tell you what I bet Michelle in Step doesn’t have this problem. “You’ve got to get them excited, Sassy! Zumba just isn’t exciting anymore!” Well anyone can walk up and down a step so that’s not exactly a liberating experience.
CARRIE walks in stage left, SASSY doesn’t see her.
Steps about as exciting as taking a tampon out—
Oh! Hi! You’re a bit late for Zumba, I’ve just packed everything up, but there’s another session Friday at 5 if you’d like or there’s Step next door in the… Grand Hall.
CARRIE: Oh, thank you. Are you?—
SASSY: Sassy. Yeah. Nice to meet ya.
She extends her hand, realises it is sweaty and wipes it on her joggers.
Sorry. Parents called me Sassy cos they wanted me to live up to the name. My brother’s called Rich. (beat) He’s definitely beat me at that one. Lives in Hong Kong. CEO. Married a Chinese woman.
Anyway… what’s your name love?
CARRIE: Carrie. Have I—?
SASSY: That’s a nice name. Your parents want you to be a writer?
CARRIE: Urmm, I don’t think so…?
SASSY: Sex In The City? … No? Oh, never mind. You look quite young and fit, what are you doing here? I usually get middle aged lesbians or wine-binging mum’s of two.
CARRIE: I’m not from around here but I thought I’d come and see what’s around. Thought a dance class could be quite fun to pass the time.
SASSY: You don’t wanna be around here love, go off to a bar and have a cocktail. You’ve still got a body that can handle a hangover, might as well use it while you can.
CARRIE: Oh, I don’t drink.
SASSY: Ah, sorry.
CARRIE: No, it’s alright. (beat) So, you run these things twice a week then?
SASSY: Yeah usually, I don’t do this full time like some other ladies. Not got the energy, or the excitement apparently. I work at a doctor’s office. Are you at college or university or?
CARRIE: Neither, I left school with alright grades but not sure what I want to do properly.
SASSY: You say you’re not from here?
CARRIE: No, but just up visiting some family.
SASSY: Oh right, you enjoying it so far?
CARRIE: I think I will.
SASSY: Cool, right, well. I better be off. That fish ’n chips in’t gonna order itself.
CARRIE: Oh, yeah—
SASSY: Steps next door if you still wanna join, starts in five minutes I think. Not bad a session if you wanna feel like you’re gonna die. See you soon!
CARRIE: It’s Carrie. Me, THE Carrie.
Sassy is stunned and drops her bag
SASSY: You what?
CARRIE: I’m… you. Well, not you, your daughter. Surprise!