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Chapter 1

White Tail Gardens was an upscale open air shopping center located on the edge of the city. With plenty of trees, fountains and (mostly) environmentally-friendly facilities, it was a beautiful place where visitors could eat, shop or just pass the time. It was late Saturday morning and the Gardens was holding its Grand Re-Opening event, with all of its businesses offering demonstrations and samples of their goods and services.

Sugarcoat patiently pretended to listen to a gym representative attempting to sell her a membership. Conveniently, the most expensive "Super Grade" membership was required to use this particular location. When the gym rep finished her spiel, Sugarcoat replied in her usual impassive demeanor.

"Thanks for the offer, but for now, I'm satisfied using my school's athletic facilities."

Continuing on her way, Sugarcoat looked for other places to visit. So far, she had enjoyed some rather good chai tea and chocolate chip scones at the coffeehouse and collected a free toothbrush, toothpaste and floss from the dental office. She had not really come to hunt for discounts or free stuff - she just wanted to get off Crystal Prep's campus for a little bit.

Her outing might have been more enjoyable with a friend or two. Sunny Flare and Sour Sweet were each visiting with their families, Indigo Zap and Lemon Zest were off at a baseball game in Cloudsdale, and Twilight Sparkle... Come to think of it, she had not seen Twilight in a while. They still texted each other every now and then, but nowadays it was Fluttershy who brought her - Sugarcoat - up to date on the latest happenings at Canterlot High School whenever they volunteered at the animal shelter. Still, it was nice to have a little time to herself without having to deal with some of her classmates' idiosyncrasies.

Walking along, Sugarcoat's ears picked up a drum beat - a primitive, tribal sound. Her curiosity piqued, she followed her ears to the Gardens' central courtyard, where a crowd of people was gathered around a large stage. On the stage, a woman clad in a midriff-revealing sky blue outfit danced sinuously to the staccato rhythm booming from the loud speakers.

A belly dancer? Sugarcoat found herself intrigued. To date, the only "belly dancing" she had ever seen was in animated fairy tales and campy spy movies when an attractive - often unnamed - female character danced to distract the hero, the villain, or a group of men. There was also last Halloween when Lemon Zest dressed up as a harem girl, but Lemon's frenzied gyrating could hardly be considered dancing of any sort. Still, Sugarcoat somehow felt that there was more to it than the popular image of females "shedding their dignity for male gratification" as Sunny Flare would put it.

Sugarcoat walked closer to the stage. The dancer, a woman with violet and gold hair, shimmied and undulated to each burst of drum beats. Sugarcoat could not put her finger on it, but she found something inexplicably beautiful about this dance. She really had to admire the dancer's physical control. This woman was not just a backup dancer from some wannabe's music video shaking her hips, but a highly disciplined artist. More than that, she looked very familiar.

Sugarcoat stopped just under thirty feet from the stage. From where she now stood, she could clearly see the streaks of pink in the dancer's hair. Squinting through her glasses, she scrutinized the dancer's heavily made-up face - the contours of her nose and lips, her eyes. Those eyes! Sugarcoat gasped. Even with all that bright blue eye shadow, she recognized those eyes! The dancer was none other than Dean Cadance of Crystal Prep Academy!

Sugarcoat was thunderstruck. It was the first time she had ever seen the dean outside of school, and she was clad in little more than a bra, belt and skirt! Sugarcoat knew that she should feel scandalized, but she did not. She had no reason to. Dean Cadance was not flirting with any of the men in the audience or teasing them in any fashion. No, she was dancing solely for herself.

Dean Cadance twirled in place as the rhythm quickened, finishing her number with a flourish. Two men whistled and jeered, but their pathetic catcalls were drowned out by the applause from Sugarcoat and the rest of the audience. Many of the women in the audience cheered - even those old enough to be grandmothers. Dean Cadance smiled and took a bow before disappearing behind the curtains.

Sugarcoat took a moment to gather her thoughts, wondering if the dean had seen her. Not since the Friendship Games had her perceptions had been so challenged. She had to speak with Dean Cadance - and it was better that this conversation take place now, off campus.

***

Sugarcoat walked around behind the stage. Off to one side, she found Dean Cadance standing in the shade of a tree, her veil draped over her shoulders like a mantle. As she neared, Dean Cadance looked up and, much to Sugarcoat's surprise, smiled at her.

"Hello Sugarcoat."

"Hello Dean Cadance," Sugarcoat replied, albeit in a tone gentler than her usual one.

"How did you like the show?"

Sugarcoat was taken aback. Dean Cadance had seen her! She nevertheless retained her composure as she solemnly replied "It was most beautiful."

"Thank you." A moment passed before the dean nodded down at her bare midriff, adding "No doubt this comes as a bit of a surprise."

"To say the least." said Sugarcoat. Looking at Dean Cadance's well-proportioned figure, she could not help but feel a tiny bit envious.  Remembering eye contact, she continued. "If I may ask, what got you started?"

"A friend shared it with me. I enjoyed it so much, that I took it up myself."

"Besides exercise, what do you get out of it?"

"Stress relief for one thing. Most importantly though, I simply feel more comfortable with my own body."

Sugarcoat wondered how Dean Cadance could possibly feel insecure about her body. Then she looked down at her own petite figure and remembered about how she herself sometimes wished that she were more attractive. There was one more question she had to ask.

"Do you ever worry about Cinch finding out?"

Dean Cadance's composure did not waver in the least. The fact that she was not trying to explain or justify herself made her all the more admirable. "If she does, so be it. I am who I am."

"If she does, it won't be from me." said Sugarcoat, the steel returning to her voice.

Dean Cadance cocked her head. "Why is that?"

Sugarcoat was forthright in her answer. "Because I see a beautiful art form woefully misrepresented as a cheap sex gimmick by our society at large." She paused for a moment before adding "And I wish to experience it firsthand."

Dean Cadance said nothing, but raised an eyebrow.

"This is the most honest form of self-expression that I've ever witnessed!" cried Sugarcoat, conviction resonating in her voice. "I want to learn!"

Dean Cadance considered briefly before asking "Are you free Mondays and Wednesdays from 6:00 to 7:30 PM?"

"I am."

"I realize that it's very short notice, but our dance studio is beginning a six-week junior belly dance course on Monday - the day after tomorrow. Only four other girls your age are enrolled, so it ought to give us plenty of opportunity to work with you one-on-one. On Saturday morning of the sixth week, we will hold a student recital. I think that you would really enjoy it."

"Who is the instructor?"

"Chiffon Veil will be the chief instructor. She is a very good teacher. I myself will be assisting, as will another of my classmates."

"Is the recital open to the public?"

"This one will actually be invitation only. If you know someone whom you would like to invite, just let us know ahead of time."

Sugarcoat considered inviting some of her Crystal Prep classmates, but they were not likely to understand or appreciate this dance as she now did. Least of all Sunny Flare. But maybe Twilight Sparkle would...

"Last question," Sugarcoat cracked an uncharacteristically roguish smile. "Will costumes will be provided?"

"Your pick from whatever is in stock that fits you."

For the first time in a long while, Sugarcoat truly felt excited. This promises to be an enriching experience all around. She could not wait to share this with Twilight Sparkle.

"Where do I sign?"
The sequel to A Sparkly Surprise Performance, and my first shot at a multi-chapter fan fiction.

In this story, Sugarcoat catches a demo performance of Dean Cadance, and decides to take up belly dancing herself - even if at the risk of ridicule from her Crystal Prep classmates.

MLP:FiM, Equestria Girls characters (c) Hasbro (Chiffon Veil created by me).
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:iconspyhunter29:
SpyHunter29 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Dear mayorlight, I truly admire your depiction of the art of belly dance. Speaking as a dude, I will admit my interest in it is, at a base level, lustful.
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:iconspyhunter29:
SpyHunter29 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
But when I take the time to learn about the different varieties, it's actually quite fascinating. For example
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:iconspyhunter29:
SpyHunter29 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
For example, have you seen Gaijin Goomba's videos on Shantae? youtu.be/zCLt3f3ZGwM Moving beyond that, I certainly have no doubt that it can be an empowering activity for the ladies who perform it, in the right context. And frankly, in today's political climate, this could be a great way to share the lighter side of Arabian culture!

P.S. Please pardon the multiple comments. I was typing them on my phone and broke them up accidentally.
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:iconmayorlight:
mayorlight Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
No worries man. I remember that vid; and I wholeheartedly agree with your remarks.
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:iconspyhunter29:
SpyHunter29 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That means so much to me, thank you!!
Reply
:iconninjamon102938:
ninjamon102938 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2017
I like it, I like it a lot
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