There were so many dancers at the try-outs that Dineo was sure she didn’t stand a chance. It was as if the whole of South Africa had come to try their luck.

“Don’t worry,” Fezile told them. “Most of these are not dancers. They’ll be out in the first round. Only then will we see the real competition.”

Fezile was right. There were 489 people auditioning in the first round. The second round they were down to 123. The day was tortuous. You’d dance for two minutes at most, and then wait for hours to hear the outcome. The final round had forty-eight dancers for fifteen places. Everyone from Kaleidoscope was still in with a chance.

After the last auditions they were called to the stage, all forty-eight dancers. The casting director stood up. “OK folks, we need to deliberate and discuss a few options. We have your numbers, and we’ll let you know in a week.”

Fezile gathered the group together outside. “Now you forget about it. Your worry and obsessing will not help. We’ll take tomorrow off and then we get back to our normal rehearsals. Preparing as if Lion King does not exist. We’re professionals, the show must go on. Group hug!”

Despite what Fezile said, Dineo left the auditions nervous. She’d made a few mistakes and there were some pretty amazing dancers there, many with lots of international experience. She tried to prepare her mind for the worst.

Just as she was beginning to obsess about it all, her cellphone rang. “Dineo, how’d the audition go?” Mimi asked.

“I don’t know. OK, I guess. They’ll make their decisions in a week, a week of waiting-hell.”

“Sounds like you need a break. I’m heading to X-Club. Meet me there. We can drink a bit, dance a bit, forget about things for a while.”

Dineo could hear something in Mimi’s voice. Something was wrong. “What happened?”

“Oh Dineo!” She began to cry.

“What happened, Mimi? Tell me.”

“It’s Ricardo. Imagine, six months I’ve been dating this guy. Now I find out he has another girlfriend … and she’s pregnant!”

“Oh Mimi, I’m so sorry.”

She sniffed and shifted her voice and her mind to ‘tough-guy’ mode. “I don’t give a shit! Doesn’t matter. I’m free now! Time to have some fun. Come out with me, Dineo. Please!”

The last thing Dineo wanted to do was be out at the clubs, but her friend needed her tonight. “OK, give me an hour.”


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