She speeded up as she led the way back up the corridor. ‘The main building used to be a house called Lie Low, the bolthole of a Carry On star and then a shady businessman.’
They passed dance studios, Joe glancing in on students and giving the brief nods he seemed to consider sufficient interaction as Georgine continued to provide background information. ‘Acting Instrumental’s a small independent further education college. Our current roll is eighty-four students across two year-groups. The cafeteria’s through here. Oggie got funding to subsidise lunches so the take-up is high.’
She turned right.
‘This is my room.’ She laughed to see a garland of turquoise tinsel hanging from the handle. ‘I’m collecting Christmas props so people are bringing me their cast offs.’ She whisked past, heading straight for dance rehearsal.
She paused at the door. ‘This is the big rehearsal room. Maddie’s working with dance students on our Christmas show, A Very Kerry Christmas, Uncle Jones. The students are Level 3, which is the same as A Level.’ She stepped inside. At one end of the room a stage space was denoted by yellow gaffer tape on the floor where a small dance troupe was learning a routine.
Maddie glanced round without pausing in her dance. Tall and willowy, her fair hair pulled back in a plait, she flashed a smile before returning her attention to the teenagers who were mirroring her movements. The shuffles and thumps marking the rhythm of their feet made Georgine’s heart lift.
‘Forward, back,’ Maddie called, ‘step-two-three, change, step-two-three, back, leg lift, and chassé . . . and then we’re ready for the last part of act one, scene two. Let’s try it to music.’ She clicked a small remote in her hand and a lively jive tune burst onto the air.
You can buy A Christmas Gift from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.