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  • Abdullah's hips sway , ever so slightly, as he moves across the dance floor. His

    hands caress the air; his eyes are closed; his mop of hair, curly and coffee black,

    pushed behind his ears, sways along with him.

    The other boys join him later, dancing softly with each other, around each other,

    hands negotiating hands, gliding.

    An American teacher steps in line, shows them an American twist. They move

    together, forward, back, forward again.

    ----

    The girls cover their mouthes when they laugh. They cover their neck, elbows,

    collarbones, shins. Walking to the dance, I caught a glimpse of a pony tail and

    felt my cheeks burn.

    ----

    My favorite is Faatin. She gives me hell in her glances. She shakes me with her

    smiles. At the dance, once, her husband touches her hand and shakes the room.

    ----

    Adam doesn't hear the music. He is a ballet of awkward politeness, bowing and

    shuffling, whirling out of the path of others. He bows in my direction and backs

    away. "My teacher," he says. "I thank you for coming."

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