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At the Ball


Before the ball

The dance floor waits:

A hardwood anticipation of adrenaline rush.

Then the dancers appear:

An aggregate of ath-elites

Color-coded in numbered renown.

Now the ball begins in surround sound

Bilateral bodies in forty-eight minute motion

Matching and mixing to a twelve bar blues.

The dancers dance

From fresh twenty-fours to fast-break runs

From daredevil dribbling to crossover choreography

From triangle tactics to three pointer techniques.

The dancers dance

From pick and roll patterns to post-up pyrotechnics

From sliding screen set-ups to slam-dunk shockers

From anecdotal assists to alley-oop artistry.

The dancers dance

With heart-stopping heroics and hangtime hoops

With shutterstep strategies and spinning-step specialities

With elevation effectiveness and levitation lay-ups.

The dancers dance

With base-line basics and beat-the-buzzer baskets

With in-the-paint rebounds and in-your-face reverses

With second shot opportunities and poster-shot obligations.

The dancers dance

From firststep footwork to fadeaway jumpers

From regulated rotations to split-second sensations

From grandiose gambles to spectacular scrambles.

The dancers dance

From unobstructed looks to uncontested hooks

From full-court press to fourth quarter guess

From two-on-one thriller to final shot killer.

The dancers dance

See them step and strut

Observe them saunter and stroll and speed and spin

Look at them stride and slide and swagger and sashay

Watch them spiral and soar

Behold their dance!

The dancers dance:

They dance in the air

They dance on their feet;

I dance on my chair

I dance in my seat-

At the ball.


George Edward Tait

Dance Poetry
A comprehensive anthology
Edited by Alkis Raftis
Copyright 2012