In Threeze, two or four times a week, there is a dance. Everyone from Threeze will come to it; and people from the towns next to it up and down the Alamme. I suppose that some Herethroy from inland towns could come, but I can't think why they would want to.
And when I say "everyone", I mean everyone. Children -- babies, even, which means that Flooosh is carrying her niece in her arms as she dances with a husband. Perpendra, the oldest one here, also dances, with a cane in either hand; she took a fall when a seven-year-old stepped backwards eight steps instead of two and knocked it. And even Riverred.
Riverred is about my age, and does not lack for maturity or common sense by Orren standards. But she is blind. Her head is a bit dented-in around the eyes, where a Rassimel would have a mask; and blood trickles from the corner of her left eye as slow tears. That is where her name comes from, and naming is all the good she gets from her eyes. It doesn't look like an injury. She must have been this way a long while, for everyone is used to her and helps her somewhat.
This does not, however, make for good dancing. These people must have danced a hundred times as much as I have, yet they cannot keep in their set. They cannot do a proper rights-and-lefts, since Floosh needs at least one hand for her niece. They cannot do a full hay, for Riverred will head off perpendicular to the way she should go and someone must catch her. They cannot even do the chorus, for someone will knock Perpendra over.
And they seem worried about me! At first nobody would dance with me -- manners are that the guest is to be called for by someone who is no guest -- I had to pick an Orren at random and ask to dance with her. Hmph! I may be no bigger than a child, but I am trained in dancing, a full term at Vheshrame, and I know where my tail is.
Well, they seem to have fun with it anyways. I suppose that it is real folk dancing, the way that country folk dance, the way it was before the Rassimel got their minds on it and made it all clever and formal and precise and intricate. It's quite some ways from Flirtatious Dancing class in any case...
And that's another thing. There's very little flirting. Floosh only flirts with her spouses. The adolescents flirt a bit with each other, but very shyly by the standards of the class -- not a one would get a grade that marked the least bit of enthusiasm. I don't think I had three partners the entire evening who so much as looked me in the eye, and that's barely flirting at all, it's just showing a bit of interest in your partner. This is quite the conservative village!
But I daresay I can go without romance from Orren for a week; it's down to seven days now. That means no explosions, at least, which I daresay shall be its own kind of vacation.