Every road to success presupposes having a strong consumption, something you feel you have to do, no matter what the impediments or the consequences are.
“Gotta Dance” by Jackson Jodie Davis is an eligible example of what has just been pointed out. The main character of the story, Katie, is eager to become a prominent tap-dancer and she keeps on following her dream even knowing that her family disapproves of the idea. The author of the text touches upon a generation gap problem, the problem of all ages and of all climes. Katie’s future has already been predetermined by her parents, but Katie being a strong-willed person, does not want to accept that. Without her family support she can not attend any dance lessons, so she practices pretty hard at home copying the steps of the outstanding movie dancers. In addition, she develops her own, probably unique, way of dancing that allows her to claim “I am one fine dancer. I can dance like nobody you’ve ever seen”.
It should be noted that Katie’s brother Ronald, or Mutts, as everyone called him, was the only one who shared his sister’s ideas. It is absolutely clear from the text that Katie and Mutts were really close and had a lot of things in common. Katie even calls them both “family exceptions”. However, Mutts died without making his dreams come true. As a result, it was one of the reasons that induced Katie to leave home. Throughout the whole text the memories of the brother trouble her. She goes to her family house, enters her brother’s room and spends some time there as if saying good-bye to him. The skinny guy reminds her of Mutts, then she sees him in the crowd next to the theatre, but immediately realizes it is impossible.
In the bus Katie watches the picture of how the little boy gets rid of his hat that is definitely not to his liking. Disregarding his mother he successfully throws the hat out of the window after several attempts and feels happy about that. This event plays a great role in the text as the boy appears to be the reflection of Katie and her behaviour. He refuses to wear this hat like Katie refuses to admit her parents’ position.
Katie’s position is deliberately secured by the author in the title of the text. Katie’s “gotta dance” means more than “I must dance”; it is a cry from the heart that is assigned to the whole world and her family particularly.
Reading the story one can realize that Katie is the embodiment of the contemporary youth. She is described as a generalized character possessing a number of traits everyone should acquire to succeed in life.
· Confidence. Katie believes in what she does. Her determined resolution and self-esteem arouse an extraordinary praise and serve a good example for a reader. Katie is truly confident of her capacities and talents (“I can dance like nobody you’ve ever seen”, “I’m natural”, “I’m a movie dancer. I don’t dance in the movies though”)
· Freedom and Independence. Those qualities can be easily observed in the way she dances (“arms…loose and swaying”, “I started to fly”, “I had no weight, no worries”). Katie is able to free herself from the burdens of routine life. She does not care about what she and other people wear. Among clothes she appreciates her tap shoes the sole thing she looks after, keeping them shiny all the time. As far as money is concerned, it is not the thing of value for her (“Money has never been my problem”). When she dines in the café, she cannot comprehend, what forces a good-looking young girl to work as a waitress. Katie is far from that, unarguably she is that kind of a person who does whatever she wants.
· Generosity. For Katie it is almost borderless. She gives a waitress a good tip and shares her dinner with a roaring hungry man. She leaves money for street kids. What is more important it is not only the money the audience drops her for the dazzling performance, but her own money she gets out of her pockets.
· Strict adherence to a plan. Katie is not a person, who can alter one’s principles. She keeps a certain set of actions in her mind and she would never divert from it. She is on tour as she says and maybe that is why she runs away refusing to meet with the man from theatre, who liked her street show and was likely to offer her some job, but we know it is not what she is interested in.
What I find amazing is that Katie expresses her inner world and her personal attitude to the environment with help of dancing. The author and Katie herself reflect it in phrase epithets, used for description of what Katie wants to say through her steps and moves (“oh-so-easy, wait-a-minute time-step”, “knock-down, drag-out, could-you-just-die, great big Broadway-baby finish). The usage of inversed negative structures with positive meaning significantly intensify the reader’s perception of Katie’s feelings and success (“didn’t they applaud”, “didn’t the all stay”, “didn’t they throw money”, “didn’t I smooth”, etc.). They prove the idea that Katie achieved, what she wanted to.
To conclude, without a doubt for Katie dancing is more than life itself. She is born to perform, she is born to be a star, she is born to succeed.