Anyway, she did her dance, all by herself, at the end of a typically boring but mildly charming bumbling-kid show, in the hot, crowded cafeteria. She did great. She didn't look nervous, though she also didn't smile or engage the audience at all. She just seemed like she had the whole thing in hand, like she was just doing it. Even a doting mom wouldn't say that she looked like a gifted or experienced dancer, but she looked like she had practiced, and she absolutely did not embarrass herself. And then her performance was over, and she was beset by friends and their parents congratulating and complimenting her, and she LOVED that. I think it might have been the best moment of her life so far.
(This, by the way, is a classmate and friend of hers. Not all of her friends are built on such a different scale from Duchess, but this is not unusual.)
(Skipper, of course, took this all as a personal affront. She was very worried that Duchess would humiliate herself, and then when it all came off well, she got really pissed that Duchess was getting so much attention. Poor kid - another lose-lose.)