2007-09-25: So You Think You Can Dance


Elena_icon.gif Monica_icon.gif Mikhail_icon.gif Peter_icon.gif Gene_icon.gif

Summary: Day One of the NYU Dance Corps Auditions commences. Elena and Monica have a 'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon' moment.

Date It Happened: September 25th, 2007

So You Think You Can Dance

New York University Campus, Greenwich Village

The basketball court has been vacated just for this very purpose - a grueling series of three days' worth of auditions. The members of NYU's elite Dance Corps are already there, stretching, checking on the sound equipment, or doing some warm ups. The Captain of the team, Latisha, a slender, black girl with a stylish, short coiffure, is checking on the clipboard she has in her hand. Narrowing her eyes a little bit, she scratches off a few names. "No, no, no. I told these three they were denied. They couldn't even get past the first hour of the initial meeting!" She looks over the other side of the floor. "Elena, you told them to show up on time, yeah?"

"Yup," the Gomez girl says, straightening up and pulling up her hood. Sports bra and yoga pants for her today. She works her wavy, long hair in a quick, messy ponytail. "Did you want me to go over the choreography with the newbies, or…?"

"Might as well. Rolanda was going to do it, but she sprained her ankle," the captain of the team says with a small frown. "But I can't have you on the panel. I heard you're friends with a few of the people that are auditioning."

Elena grins. "No sweat, I was gonna recuse myself anyway you know."

So in he comes, sauntering all cool and everything. Mikhail is being pretty subtle in his getup, actually: Black hoodie zipped halfway over a gray tank top, black arm warmers that serve no other purpose besides decoration, sneakers, and….parachute pants that make it look like his legs are on FIRE. No lie - it's tie dye. Bleached bangs are held in place by a soft plastic headband with glitter stuck inside of its silvery metallic mix.

To tell the truth, the artist has been quiet altogether. He silently sat in on the informational meeting in the back, after all. He has an idea of what's going down during these try-outs, and he aims to please. In a sense, anyway. Puttering around the edge of the court's painted perimeter, he drops off his bags, a moment of hesitation taken before he starts stretching awkwardly.

Yes, he does see Elena and whoever else is present, but Miki doesn't say anything. Maybe later…?

Monica shows up, on time, and out of habit, starts to warm up. She's a bit nervous, but curious to see what kind of fortune her ability will bring her. Sure, she can shake it in a club without embarrassing herself, but choreagraphed dancing? It's an interesting challenge. She favors a tank top and sweatpants, hair clipped back on either side in two ponytails. Her expression is a bit greim, even as she stretches. Mik's presence heartens her some, and she gives him a wave as she rolls her shoulders and stretches her hamstrings.

"There you are!" Latisha calls out to Mikhail and Monica as they enter. "Well, gather around, gather around," she says, coaxing the newcomers to enter. Others file in with Mikhail and Monica as well, girls and a few guys spanning from different years. She waits for them to sit down on the space in front of her, tapping on her clipboard. She calls roll, ticking off names. Whoever doesn't show is out automatically. Much like her predecessor, Tia, Latisha runs a tight ship. A few don't show, easier on the competition, but there's still about a dozen kids left, including Monica and Mikhail.

"Alright. This is day one of your three-day bootcamp into the corps," the team captain begins seriously. "This isn't going to be easy, just to warn. The team's placed in the top 10 for Division II since 2002, so even if we don't win the competitions this year, I'd like to at the very least keep up the ranking. Each day, you're going to learn 12 sets of eight counts. The first two days will be dedicated to that, until the third day where it'll be a run-through of the entire routine, of what you learned in both days prior. It's up to you to practice on your own. We won't dictate rehearsal times. It's all up to you guys depending on how much you want in."

She gestures to three people standing to the other side. "These girls will be the ones guiding you through the motions. They'll help you learn the choreography each day. Jennifer is co-captain." She gestures to a pretty redhead. "She's a junior. She'll probably take up the reins next year. Christina is a junior too." She points to a dark-haired, and very pale girl. "And since my other junior can't make it today, 'Lena's going to be our third. Any of you have questions?"

Good, he's not the only guy there. Mikhail glances over at Monica, giving her a small grin and a wave as he walks over, crossing his arms over his chest as Latisha sets up the following. In the middle of it, his mind starts to wander. Thankfully, he snaps out of it, eyes falling back on the speaker as she went on. As for questions? Well…he never seems to have any. No questions, and no problems with those in charge of the dance moves. Mikhail nods and shrugs. He's good to go.

Monica gives Mik a little nudge with her shoulder to his. "Pay attention." she teases, knowing he has the attention span of a firefly during mating season. Looking back to Latisha, she gives the other girl a solemn nod. She's ready to go. All she has to do is watch the choreagraphy performed before she tries it.

"Alright, let's get to it. Ladies." Latisha relinquishes the floor to the three as they take up the front. "Alright guys!" Jennifer says, clapping her hands together. "Rows of four and spread out, please. Panel's going to be watching, meanwhile we'll go through the first three eight counts, okay? We'll do it slow at first, but then we'll speed it up. If that's cool, let's get this show on the road."

Jennifer turns around then, Christine flanking her on the left while Elena trots off to the right. Someone starts the music. Then, the three girls move in unison - Dance Corps was a cross between a street crew, and a drill team, so while the movements are fluid, the bodies move in sync. Arms cross in front of each other, split off. The girls toss their hair back as they lean backwards on their heels, and then shake their heads as they move forward again. The first three counts move quickly. The tutorial is slower, showing the other auditionees the moves…and then clearing out from the front.

"Alright, let's see you guys do it," Elena says, clapping her hands and letting the CD redo the track and to give the panel a clear view.

Lucky, lucky Monica. She focuses on the best of the dancers - Elena, and so when the auditionees are told to strut their stuff, she struts pretty awesomely. It looks like she picked it up in just one go! Clever girl, or so it would seem.

Latisha leans over to her panel, three other girls watching the auditionees as they move. Monica stands out instantly, but only because she seems to have picked up on the choreogaphy, and flawlessly, in one go, while a few struggled with some of the manuevers. These girls and guys are used to auditioning though, so unless it's by a trained eye, it looks like they're all doing it right. Mikhail seems to be doing great as well, moving in time to the side along with Monica all on his own.

After the first three counts, Jenn, Chris, and 'Lena take it up again for the next three eight counts. Unlike the first three, the next three is more fluid, actually less masculine, and a little girlier, hips swinging from side to side before the three girls pivot twice, kick-up, and land on one knee with one hand braced on the ground. They slide to the side, bodies moving along the floor, before unfolding themselves up. One body roll each, arms lifting upwards….the routine continues until the end, before the auditionees go again.

Assured that he would be able to enter in without getting kicked out of the room, the young man known as Gene Kensington enters the room. Glancing about with a somewhat wary look, the inventor finds some wall to hug, preferably in a corner, behind some blechers, or wherever the quiet kid can find some cover. After all, dancing is a full contact sport if the previews for Bring It On 4 is right.

Monica rather wishes that she could see the whole thing at once. But as it is, she'll pick it up in bits and pieces. But then they kick it up to the rest of the choreagraphy, and that suits her just fine. Once more she's flawless, and from the look on her face, she's enjoying herself. She does the kick with slightly Rockette-ish flair, and and is unable to resist to moving through the routine all the way to the end, breathless just a bit, and flashing a grin at Elena.

Elena can't help but grin. Monica's doing well. So is Mikhail by the looks of it. This takes a while, really, even if the steps go relatively quickly. The rockette-ish flair to the young woman's kick gets a nod of approval from the rest of the panel. They'll tackle the next three counts next. Once again, they do this at first, and then gradually, in an effort to refresh the poor auditionees' brains with it. Latisha will call a break for a few minutes, but not right now. The captain is consulting her clipboard again, keeping an eagle-eye out on the proceedings.

When Elena finally moves to the side to let the auditionees do their thing, she catches sight of Gene leaning against the wall. She smiles, and gives him a small wave from where she is.

A little behind the mechanical genius, the door opens again, this time allowing a power absorbing former nurse (currently on bail for third degree assault against a tabloid reporter) inside the gym. Peter glances over the dancers for a moment, and then catches sight of the young woman dancing the routine and— there's suddenly this mental image of him getting up there and dancing the same thing. To avoid this happening, he backs up against the wall and quietly prays. Maybe if he consentrates on something else it won't just kick in and happen.

Monica heads automatically for her water bottle, walking over to Mikhail. "You're doing awesome." she tells him brightly, though pauses and blinks as she sees the new arrival. Her expression is plain on her face - what are you doing here?

The break is called, leaving the auditionees and the corps to mingle around each other - this is a social event as it is COMPETITION FOR THE HARDCORE. Elena reaches out for her water bottle, laughing a bit with the other girls as she rubs the back of her neck with a towel. "How are you guys doing? Having fun?" she asks Monica and Mikhail. She'll greet Gene later, her back turned so she doesn't see Peter come in. Not yet anyway. But she leaves the boys to interact first, as she checks on the newbies. "You're doing great, you pick things up so fast," she tells Monica.

Gene returns the wave, but keeps his vantage point by the wall. Watching the girls dance for a bit is a sure reminder that yes, Gene is straight indeed. Noticing Pete, he gives him a simple nod. "So, how's life?" he asks. Thankfully, Gene is barely able to keep out the 'after going to jail again', but he does… Which is good. Getting punched out by a male nurse is awkward, even if the nurse has super strength.

Monica can't help but smile at that. "It's a knack." she says agreeably, though her eyes keep darting toward Peter. Serious, what is tall, dark, and emo doing here? Collegiate dance corps are not exactly the sort of thing she'd expect him to be into. She returns her focus to Elena. "You make it easy."

"I try. Latisha kind of heard that I was friends with you and Miki, so I'm out of the panel. But the least I can do is show you guys the moves, right? I wasn't going to, but one of ours kind of sprained her ankle, so…" Elena says with a sheepish smile, gesturing to the side. When Monica keeps looking over her shoulder, she turns around….only to see Gene and Peter there. Her face brightens, and she waves over Peter's direction as well. "Gene's a friend of mine, I think you knew that though - he went to see Dr. Suresh's speaking engagement too, when he cancelled." The day she and Monica met. "The other one's my boyfriend, Peter Petrelli."

"It's… okay?" Peter responds softly, looking as if he's consentrating on something else a little too much. The dancing has stopped for the most part. That helps. He glances over at the young man who he hasn't really scene since they both failed rather epicly at playing secret agents. "Heard from Evelyn lately?" he asks, not really noticing the eyes on him, for the moment, but the wave is caught in the corner of his eye and he glances back, lifts a hand, and waves as well. He'd said he'd try to stop by. Looks like he was able to. But he does look pretty sheepish the longer he glances towards the group— especially the young woman who witnessed him falling through a wall.

Monica can't help but smirk in Peter's direction. A faint twitch of her eyebrows conveys volumes: don't you out me, Briar Rabbit. She looks back to Elena. "I think he's a friend of my cousin, actually. I've met him in passing. Small world, huh?"

"…..really? So you've met?" The young woman sounds rather surprised. But she recovers, and tries to look curious instead. "Yeah, who's your cousin?" Elena asks, taking a swig of her bottled water and rubbing her face with a towel again. She breathes quietly again, and glances over to the other girls, and the dance corps as they mill around. She looks a little surprised that she's met him though, her eyebrows shooting upwards from her dark eyes.

With his girlfriend waving at him, and talking about him, Peter abandons his place against the wall, leaving Gene to hide there in the shadows, or attempt to at least. It's a quiet approach, but he catches the question poised. Who is her cousin. Um… Well… "Hope I'm not too late. I caught the tail-end of things," he adds, glancing towards the young woman, whose cousin he definitely knows. But…

"Her name's Niki." Monica says, unaware of any potential trouble this may cause. She looks back at the mill of young women and men saying, "How much more time before the next set? Do you know when they're eliminating?"

"….Niki?" Elena says. And then it sinks in. "….wait, Niki Sanders is your -cousin-?" she wonders out loud. And then, she looks between Peter and Monica, and then, she looks at the latter. She's trying not to gape. Monica. She was the one who— Peter said he met someone who could copycat. THAT explained things. Her mouth opens, but when Peter arrives, she turns around to smile at him. "Hi, and we're just taking a break. They've got one more set of three before they do the entire run-through. Eliminations I think start today….but they'll contact everyone as to who shows up tomorrow, and who doesn't." She also leans up to kiss Peter lightly on the cheek. "You didn't have to come," she tells him softly, but she does smile at him cheerfully. She's happy he did regardless.

"Yeah, she's Niki's cousin," Peter says, confirming things with a hint of a smile, even as she kisses his cheek. He reaches to touch her arm briefly, before leaning to return the kiss on her cheek instead. "I wanted to, even if all I caught was a few seconds of your performance. You're really good at that." Not said just to be polite, either. He means it. "You did really good too, Monica. I might not stick around for the second round, though." With her here, there's more chance he might suddenly decide to join the dance team. And he really doesn't want to dance like that.

Monica grins a bit. "Thanks. Like I said, Elena makes it easy." Really, she does. Because she's who Monica is watching. "So I know how Peter knows Niki, sort of…" she trails off, suggesting she's curious as to how Elena knows Niki. She looks back at Peter. "Are you afraid your feet will suddenly go all Fred Astaire on you?"

She laughs. "No, your body makes it easy," Elena teases, winking at Monica. "But you've got serious rythmn. If anything you'll learn all this stuff in no time." She looks over at Peter and grins, a little sheepishly. "You're sweet. Got plans tonight?" Though when Monica cracks the Fred Astaire joke, she can't help but laugh. "That's gonna be a sight to behold. He's really not a bad dancer with or without your thing though, Monica. Seriously." They've danced together a few times, he's not that bad. "Oh, and you free this weekend?" she asks Monica. "My friend and I just got an apartment, and I know you got in NYU, thinking of throwing a housewarming/Congratulations party."

Monica blinks a minute Wait, Elena knows about her thing? How does Elena know about her thing? She then flicks her gaze to Peter. Ooh, diahrrea mouth! She gives him another squinty look, but then peers back at Elena. "I wasn't a bad dancer before." she says, feeling sheepish. Now she's wondering if she should back out. Maybe it isn't fair. "A party would be great." she says. "I ain't been to a real party in - " before Katrina, "a real long time."

"I didn't know the two of you knew each other," Peter admits with a sheepish glance towards his feet, which might start trying to dance if he sticks around to watch with her here. He can resist it better when she's not around, because he's not sure how to activate it yet, but with her here… it's more likely to just happen. "And I'm not a terrible dancer, but I definitely don't want to be dancing what you guys are." There's a difference between doing a ballroom dance like the tango and doing what they're doing. He's nowhere near dressed right, for one. And it's girly… Even if there's a male or two in the group.

"We ran into each other for a guest lecture by Dr. Suresh on this campus," Elena explains. "But….he cancelled. So about a half dozen of us were left in an empty room and we all decided to go out to dinner. Monica was visiting colleges thinking of where to apply. She ended up coming here." She doesn't explain to Peter how - just the bare bones story. And she winks at Monica at that, not like she did much. All she did was point her to where she could ask for money to support her schooling. The rest was all Monica.

Monica returns Elena's grin, but then murmurs softly, "You think I should keep going with the try-out? I mean, I see how it could be unfair." She looks back at Peter. "It doesn't compel you to do what you pick up, you know. It just means you get it."
Elena winks at Monica. "Go for it. Not your fault everyone else is a little slower on the uptake," she murmurs. Hey, Latisha wanted the best. If Monica can pick things up in a drop of a hat? She IS the best.

"It doesn't totally work the same way as yours," Peter says with a hint of a smile. "I'm kind of… not very good at these sort of things. Falling thru a wall seems to be a pretty good example of that." It's not what he intended to happen, not when he intended it to happen, and he'd been pretty surprised when it did. "But I'll stick around and watch, I guess. Take my chases." And he will… "I'll get out of your way," he adds, squeezing his girlfriend's arm, before he moves toward the wall again. To watch. And try to avoid having mysterious happy feet.

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