Rolla was shy, she did things on her own.
(Rolla on roller skates, cute red helmet on.)
Outside she would dance;
with the wind,
in the heat,
into a storm,
but inside, it was as if the walls were closing in.
Rooms just seemed silly – like little boxes people lived in. Their shape was all wrong.
Dance and trees and water all flowed.
But Rolla could never tell anyone that. Any chance kids from her neighbourhood got, they teased until you cried. “Best keep dancing bottled inside…” she whispered to herself.
But, somehow, one of her teachers heard. “I think you should lead the dancing at this year’s school show. It will be good for you,” she smiled.
Rolla ran. She ran and ran, embarrassed she had let her secret out into the world.
In the park, she walked through dead winter leaves. They had a sweet rustle to them. When her feet moved slow, they moved slow.
When her feet moved fast, they shuffled and snapped.
Rolla dragged her heels,
and danced to their song!
(Rolla doesn’t notice teacher watching in background)
Soon, she found she could dance to the tumble of waves,
wind in the long grass,
the sound of a dawn filled with birdsong.
But that was outdoors. Eventually, the school show came around. Rolla was terrified!
(The hall looked 1,000ft tall. Everything was closing in on her.)
“I can’t do it…” she cried.
(Teacher, watching her, while whispering to the other kids.)
(Kids all running into the park with empty boxes and bags and bins.)
(Bullies holding branches with leaves on them, other kids pouring leaves out of bins.)
(The teacher nudging Rolla out in front of the crowd, as students either side of her empty bins and bags, leaves on a stage. Bullies standing on boxes, ladders to either side of that, holding branches with leaves.)
“Close your eyes…!” the teacher whispered.
So Rolla did, and heard the shuffle of leaves when she shifted weight.
and their rustle as she moved her legs…
and their swish and swoosh as she danced!
(Eyes still shut, dancing wild, leaves everywhere…)
Before long, Rolla heard other kids laughing, as the whole class ran and join in!
(Other kids rushing stage)
It was messy and awkward,
(Kids dancing in leaves, some dragging others onto stage)
full of a love of life!
(One kid tucked up with laughter, leaves scrunched in hand, looking at other, smiling, hands wide, leaves everywhere)
Many parents said it was the best thing they had ever seen…!
(Some parents standing in crowd, others dancing, others climbig onto stage to dance with kids.)
(Rolla smiling at viewer, leave falling about her, kids in the background, laughing, loving life, dancing in the leaves.)