There was once a dancing duo tipped
dancers quite eccentric in their step and style.
In fact, "The Eccentrics" was their choice of name,
description apt and totally without guile.
He, of loose Astairean physique, excelled.
Fidgety feet and a certain quivering gait
marked him "The Grasshopper" when folk beheld
his inimitable steps. As for his little mate,
she, too, was individual, at heart a clown:
to be a soft shoe shuffler was her bid,
in blue blazer and white gloves all over town.
She even dubbed herself "The Kid Glove Kid"!
Both delighted in the fresh, the unknown quantity,
leaving much to chance, improvising as they went.
So the essence of their act was its spontaneity.
"Every gig a giggle" was their sentiment.
Unannounced, in mid-career and middle-age
The Kid took off her blazer, shoes and gloves
and put them on the shelf, withdrew from centre stage
to pursue in quiet study other dreams and loves.
The Hopper, understanding, took it in his stride.
He went solo, donned red shoes and blue cloth caps.
Then letting inclination be unerring guide,
advanced his eccentricity and took to taps.
Nothing stopped him after that! And with the years
his fame and fans increased. He's front page news.
Cameras flash and artists sketch amid the claps and cheers.
With a grin he puts it down to those red shoes!
Sometimes other dancers try to partner him,
to match his step and style. What a futile bid!
Though many have the talent, flair and vim,
"None of them", he says, "can really match The Kid".
Except when knee-high strutters at the Opera House
spontaneously link with him to his and their delight,
engaging little learners eager to espouse
the joy and fun of dance The Hopper can incite.
In reality though he needs no one in his act.
The Kid, for her part, now and then breaks free
and shows her eccentricity is still intact.
Both vow never to forsake the dance and poetry
of life. And true to say of them, although a team
they do not dance, except in mind and heart,
as one, and sensitive to each other's dream
they really dance together by being apart.
Here then is the moral of the tale: "The Eccentrics",
incongruous partners, as their name attests,
being to love disposed, are a living paradox,
that strange but lovely harmony of contrasts.