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Twilight Dancers


I always keep a notebook of ideas, in which I write down my thoughts, at my desk. Once in a while, I open it and find many words that I can’t remember why I ever wrote them. But I also find some words from which I expand my creativity.

One day I was flipping through the notebook when I came across the words “ballroom dancing between men”. Oh yeah, I wrote that. I remember writing it down. I can’t remember why I thought of it, but I remember writing it down in the notebook.

So, I started thinking about this idea again. What would happen if two men ballroom danced with each other? Instead of an elegant dance, perhaps it would resemble a sport.

After consulting with my editor, I went to observe a competition. As I watched them dance, I noticed it seemed closer to a sport. They moved at incredible speeds while dancing to difficult steps. I was struck by the sound of their shoes hitting the floor, their breath, the rustle of their costumes and by the dancers’ power and passion. When I peeked into the waiting room, I saw that the male dancers were exhausted. While the female dancers were touching up their makeup and having snacks, all the male dancers seemed tired and some were taking naps with their backs against the wall. I almost couldn’t believe these worn-out men were the same dancers who were dancing with so much energy on the floor just moments ago. I was intrigued by this difference. This is when I decided to make the character a middle-aged man.

The outline of my story became clearer as I learned about ballroom dancing from specialists, actually observed lessons and listened to the experiences of instructors and students.

I had probably imagined two men dancing together with their bodies close to each other when I jotted the idea down in the notebook. However, as I learned more about ballroom dancing, I found out about a style called formation dancing, and so I decided to write about a group dance by men.

The small seed of an idea that I wrote down in the notebook has grown into a flower that I could have never imagined.


Copyright© 2011- Nozomi Katsura All rights reserved. No reproduction and republication without written permission.