Cathy’s in New York! And it’s freezing! She made Julian a scarf! He is actually pretty touched about it, so let’s all take this moment to like Julian.
They go immediately to Madame’s Zolta’s office, where she’s rude to Julian about his comings and goings and dubious about Cathy’s talents. She interrogates Cathy about her skills and ignores Julian’s incessant praise. Zolta wants to know when Cathy intends to marry, and Cathy answers that the plan is when she’s near 30, or never, but certainly not before she’s rich and famous and the best ballerina in the world. Madame Z is unimpressed by Cathy’s opinions of herself, and notes that beauty and talent rarely go together in the best dancers. Beauty dies, after all, just look at Zolta herself! She shows Cathy a wall of old photos from Zolta’s dancing career, and Cathy is astonished that Zolta was once young and pretty. Yikes, Cathy. Cathy names the teacher she had before the years in the attic, and Zolta is impressed since the teacher (Denise Danielle) was a talented dancer, but! She made Zolta’s cardinal mistake and fell in “luv” (Zolta’s pronunciation). She asks if Cathy drinks (no) and why she’s so pale (um, sunburn is bad?) and agrees to give Cathy a shot and see if she can dance. She refers to Julian as Cathy’s lover–when Cathy angrily insists that he is no such thing, Julian admits that while he’s nuts about Cathy, she doesn’t feel the same. Yet. Zolta likes this even better, since their relationship will make for great dancing and even better ticket sales.
Cathy is accepted to the company, though she knows that it’s really because Zolta loves her and Julian’s dynamic–he being obsessed with her, her not interested off-stage, and Cathy admits that if they could’ve just danced all the time then their relationship would have been pretty great. But since they can’t dance ALL the time, she spends most off-stage time avoiding Julian and his gross ways. We get introduced now to some of the fellow dancers (they all live in the same apartment building as well): Julian’s roommates Michael and Alexis, who are ranked higher than Julian by Madame Z (mainly because Julian won’t listen to her); and Cathy’s roommates, April Summers (for real), a sweet nobody who becomes friends with Cathy, and Yolanda Lange, the daughter of a British diplomat and a belly dancer, who likes to walk around naked and who is loud and rude, and, we soon learn, is very popular among the male members of the company because she “gives out”. Yolanda is also specifically described as 5’8–the same height as Corrine, AND AND AND:
“soon I found out her breasts mirrored her personality–small, hard and mean”
CAN WE LOOK AT THAT QUOTE FOR A SECOND. Wow, Catherine. Wow. That’s amazing.
April is of very little consequence to the story, but remember Yolanda. Maybe you remember her from the movie a little?
So Julian, being Julian, has told everyone that he and Cathy are an item and that she wants it kept secret because she’s a demure Southern belle or some such nonsense. Cathy denies that they’re a thing, but is resigned to the fact that no one believes her since Julian’s version of events is so much juicier. She doesn’t really care, though, because she’s in New York and she’s dancing and that’s taking up all of her time. She is mildly annoyed when Julian is always around, but other times she’s grateful to see someone who she knows. I get it. Julian IS her only link to home, and she knows that his gossip is just that, and it’s a relief to see Cathy being focused on something other than revenge (although this is all in her long game, she does genuinely love to dance). Madame Z wants Cathy to change her stage name (Catherine Doll) which C refuses to do as it’s the name she chose as a child and that her father loved, and she compromises by changing the spelling to “Dahl”. She also refuses to cut her hair when Madame tells her to, and we hear all about how negative and terrible Madame is, and how if she wasn’t such an amazing instructor none of them would put up with her.
One day after rehearsal, Cathy fools around dancing to the radio and gets scolded by Madame Zolta, who says that they dance CLASSICAL, not MODERN and wants Cathy to explain the difference for everyone. Cathy, with what she calls her mother’s poise, snips that modern ballet is mostly “groveling about on the floor” whilst classical “stands up on its toes”. Z isn’t her for Cathy’s sass and tells her to go home and grovel in bed and never let her catch Cathy dancing like that again. The closemindedness gets to Cathy and she loses it, yelling that she hates Madame Zolta and she’s leaving and never wants to see her again. Cathy goes to change and is confronted by Madame, who tells her that if she leaves she doesn’t come back. Cathy yells that she’ll be fine without dancing, but Zolta thinks she’ll “whither away and die”, Cathy tells her to go to hell. Madame smiles at that, since she’s glad to finally see that Cathy has spirit, and praises Cathy’s dancing, telling her that she’s so talented, but also too impulsive, and that Madame is only trying to teach Cathy. She calls Cathy her delight, telling her that she’s the daughter she never had, that she makes Madame remember how idealistic she was when she was young, and that she worries that Cathy will lose the “look of enchantment” that she has while dancing. (Cathy’s “attic face”, she thinks, the one that Chris always loved) Cathy apologizes, but points out that Madame does kind of pick on her a lot and that she’s tired and homesick. Madame embraces her and tells her that she understands, and that “a dancer with no fire is no dancer at all”.
Seven months go by before Cathy and Julian are given their first lead roles. Madame alternates leads, so that she doesn’t get any stars, but Cathy is chosen to play Clara in The Nutcracker, AND it’s going to be televised. Cathy calls Paul to tell him and he’s happy for her, though disappointed that this means she won’t be coming home that summer. Carrie and Chris are doing well, and they make plans for the family to visit her. The ballet is taped in August so that it can air at Christmas, and Julian and Cathy watch the recording together, and Julian tells Cathy that he loves her. We don’t hear her response, but instead skip ahead to the fall, where, Yolanda having sprained her ankle, and April being away, Cathy gets another lead role—this time in her precious Sleeping Beauty. Instead of swapping roles and letting Alexis or Michael partner Cathy, Madame gives Julian this male lead as well, since his chemistry with Cathy is so amazing. Paul, Chris, Carrie, and Henny come to visit and to see the performance. It’s magical, of course, and afterwards Cathy receives a buttercup on stage and knows that it’s from Chris–meant to represent the four Dollangangers. Awww. That’s sweet, actually, Chris. Julian kisses Cathy during their curtain calls and she curses at him for it, he responds by damning her for not wanting him and promises, yet again, that she WILL be his. So dramatic, Julian.
Just for fun, here’s Cathy’s favorite number: The Rose Adagio.
At the afterparty, the family gathers around to applaud Cathy (she notes that while Chris is a little taller, Carrie is not) and she and Paul try to play it cool. She dances with Chris and teases him for his lack of talent, and he teases back (maybe JUST a little meaner) that he doesn’t need to dance for attention, since Yolanda has been giving him the eye all night. Cathy points out that that’s hardly rare for Yolanda and that she’ll probably sleep with Chris if he wants, and then someone else the next night, which Chris uses as the most awkward segue into asking if Cathy sleeps around too. CHRISTOPHER. You were doing so well! Cathy smiles at him and winks to Paul, who comes over and cuts in. Chris goes to talk to Yolanda and leaves with her.
They drop Carrie and Henny off at their hotel and go to get coffee (we learn Paul is still rocking a mustache) and they ask each other if they’ve found other people. They have not, and so they run off to a hotel, where Paul registers them as “Mr. and Mrs. Paul Sheffield”. Afterwards, Paul tells Cathy that he meant what he put in the register, and that since she’s been away he’s realized how much he needs her and wants to marry her. Cathy is overjoyed and says yes and they stay up all night planning out their marriage and worrying how they’ll tell Chris. Well, that’s normal. They decide to wait to tell anyone until Christmas, when Cathy will be back in Clairmont.
I’m sure there’s no way this can go anyway but well.
Coming up: Julian is terrible! Yolanda is terrible! Chris is terrible! Corrine shows up and is terrible! TERRIBLE!