Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

Posts Tagged ‘dance

Learning Keeps You Young, or Busy – #amwriting

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I have realised this week that I am better at practical learning than book learning.

Readers of my Friday Fictioneer posts might know I recently started tap dancing. I didn’t dance as a child – I was too fat and my parents didn’t have the money to pay for lessons however much I pleaded to go to ballet classes with my best friend. Eighteen months ago I started Bollywood dancing and learnt that for year. It was lovely to move elegantly and learn more about Asian film music, but the classes ended.

I have always hankered to learn to tap, probably because of the noise and my imagining that it was easy to stamp around. It isn’t, and I am having to practise between lessons to keep up. I am a complete beginner compared to the others who are re-learning or have at least a term behind them. I am improving, but don’t imagine I will ever be fast enough. I have also taught myself basic crochet stitches and am about to attempt my first piece of clothing, albeit a relatively simple scarf.

However, my online Italian course, which I started last June, is languishing uncompleted. And I have pulled out of the writing MOOC I signed up to complete over the next 6-weeks because I don’t have the time to do it justice. The University of Iowa have run a number of writing MOOCs and I participated in How Writers Write Fiction 2014 and 2015, as well as How Writers Write Poetry 2014. They are professional and stretching courses, but post new classes on a Thursday and I am unable to keep up now work has become busier.

At tap, I have peers in front of whom I don’t wish to fail. With crochet I have physical evidence of my progress. However, with Italian there’s no one to practise with, and I’ve enough of my own writing to get on with without committing to more. So whether I’m better at the practical, or the things I enjoy most, is open to question.

How do people learn without peers, teachers, or projects to keep them on track?



Written by Sarah Ann

May 28, 2017 at 3:34 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 21/4/17 – Septuagenarian Adventure

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Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.

With thanks to Rochelle for hosting and Magaly Guerrero for this week’s prompt.

I can’t quite believe I’ve managed to post this on a Thursday, but life gave me an in this week – I will be following my protagonist’s example next Wednesday.


PHOTO PROMPT © Magaly Guerrero

© Magaly Guerrero


Septuagenarian Adventure

(Genre: humour; 100-words)

‘Frances, you’re 75.’

My husband is a master of truth.


‘It’s undignified.’

‘The woman who runs the sessions said there are lots of beginners like me.’

‘You’re not as fit as you were.’

‘That’s why I signed up.’

‘What about equipment?’

‘I only need shoes.’

‘You’re….’ he paused.

There are occasions when Colin trips over the truth.

‘There’s more of you than there was,’ he attempted diplomatically.

‘You mean is the floor reinforced?’

‘I didn’t say…’

‘I’m fat, Colin. I need to lose weight and enjoy it. That’s why I joined The Marvellous Tapping Heffalumps. Come jiggle with me?’


Written by Sarah Ann

April 20, 2017 at 3:23 pm

#FridayFictioneers – 25/4/14 – Folk Dance

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Every Wednesday Rochelle Wisoff-Fields publishes a photo prompt to inspire writers to write 100-words of flash fiction or poetry.

At any point in time during the following week, the Friday Fictioneers post their 100-word tales. Read the other stories by clicking below.

Thanks to Bjorn for this week’s photo.



Folk Dance (100-words)

People said Miguel was born holding his guitar. Anna knew only that she loved both.

Miguel spent days tickling nursery rhymes for children; twanging pop songs for commuters. Anna hawked and carried in the market. At night they came together.

In clubs throughout town, as Miguel’s fingers stroked strings, Anna’s body rose to meet them. Skirt swishing, head back, arms twisted in rapture, her feet stamped reply to his every pick and strum. A chorus of clapping hands and ululating throats spurred them on.

When the flamenco climaxed, the exhausted lovers locked eyes, lingered; until Anna’s husband took her home.




And now for some audience particpation.

I gave this to hubby to read before posting. ‘I like it, but there’s one word I don’t.’ He even came up with an alternative, which I agree sounds better.

My original: A fug of clapping hands and ….

His alternative: A chorus of clapping hands and ….

Fug portrays warm, smoky, dirty maybe, but he felt was too ‘hard’ and interrupted the flow. Chorus is softer but less gritty, and doesn’t quite have the effect I was aiming for.


Written by Sarah Ann

April 25, 2014 at 4:46 pm

#Trifecta: Week 93 – Grace – The Thieves’ Dance

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This week Trifecta gave us the prompt:


GRACE (noun)

1a : unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification

: a virtue coming from God

: a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace

2a : approval, favor <stayed in his good graces>
archaic : mercy, pardon

: a special favor : privilege <each in his place, by right, notgrace, shall rule his heritage — Rudyard Kipling>

: disposition to or an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency

: a temporary exemption : reprieve

The rules:

  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.



The Thieves’ Dance (33 words)

Once the jittery dance is over, heads remain high, eyes out front. All is still, until a breeze catches a lock of hair. The wind increases, bodies swing, and limbs twist with grace.



Written by Sarah Ann

September 5, 2013 at 11:22 am

Two for Tuesday #12 – Finishing School

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This week Andy Black’s Two for Tuesday Challenge had the prompts:


Standard Prompt:
dirty laundry

Non-Standard Prompt:
This week’s alternative prompt is a visual one, write a story using the photo below. As per usual with the Non-Standard Prompt there is no word limit (to allow for more in depth explorations) but there is a minimum of 200 words.





Finishing School (312 words)

We never knew where the really bad ones went. Life for us was hideous enough and we were considered saveable. Ours were only minor misdemeanours – stealing a penny, scrumping apples from a private orchard. The others, those who threw tantrums as well as their fists, disappeared forever.

There were rumours that some of them came back, 15 or more years later, but I never saw. They were sent away to break bricks, their backs whipped raw, bones visible through flesh; their souls as well as their bodies broken. They were the whispers, but none of us knew, and thinking they had it worse helped us get by.

We scrubbed shiny floors, whitewashed icing-coloured walls, and picked weeds from the lawns with our fingers. If our behaviour offended again we were sent to the treadmill to grind the baker’s flour. We were the village’s dirty laundry, not to be aired in public, sent away; safely out of sight and mind.

Our one reward was the gym. A worn-out hoop, ropes and ladders fixed to the wall, and Matron screaming at us to climb. Even they folded away for the Christmas party. Boys and girls together for once, forced to dance, encouraged to touch what was off-limits at all other times. We were confused. Bad things happened. People would be missing the next day, never seen again.

At 16 we were shown the door, equipped to work and serve. They forgot to say that our school address precluded us from any work locally, or within the county.

It’s all gone now. I made sure of that after I escaped and made something of myself. When the place went up for sale, I bought it and sent in the first wrecking ball. Prime development land they said. But I’ll never develop it. Nature lives there now, where nurture went missing and unnatural things were done.


Written by Sarah Ann

June 17, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Līgo Haībun Challenge ~ “And We Danced…”

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This is my first attempt at a Līgo Haībun challenge. I have never written a haiku before so be gentle with me, but constructive criticism is welcomed.


The haībun format here for the Līgo Haībun Challenge is as follows ~

paragraph (more than one paragraph is fine, or just a few sentences) in prose form of either

  • a descriptive passage , or excerpt from a story/or previously published post
  • an explanation 
  • a tale
  • a travelogue
  • a news item
  • a recipe


  • the haiku/collection of haiku related to the text  to close. The haiku should be as authentic as possible, with therefore no syllable count, no capitals or full stop.

The expression does not have to be used exactly as it is. Remember the word limit is normally if not formally 220 words, including the haiku, and more than 1 haiku is fine.’


Before we moored for winter, I had managed to persuade hubby to come along with me for salsa lessons, if I could find some.

I went online and found nothing available locally. The library was useless – providing only ‘educational’ prospectuses. The leisure centre offers zumba or tea dances. The art centre has a choir, but no dance. The dance school offers ballet and tap classes.

For some reason I tried the internet again this week and, hey presto, I found where we can learn to salsa. We’re setting off on our summer travels in three weeks.


winter salsa planned

information came too late

next year salsa queen

Ligo Hai badge


Written by Sarah Ann

March 18, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Posted in Haibun

Tagged with , ,

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