And another maestro pronounced, with an air of great sapience: "She is prodigious, to me, because she can remain in the air longer than any dancer, with the exception of Marie, that I have ever known. When she bounds, it is as though she were released from a springboard, and the elasticity of her insteps must be abnormal. But with her deportment I am not yet satisfied."
"You Italians!" derided Rosing, "you none of you appreciate my pupil's most captivating quality—her grace and delicacy, her ethereal personality. That can never be acquired if it is missing in the first place. Either a dancer is born with it, or she must lack it all her life."
"We are more interested in technique," argued Villeneuve.
"And I," said Rosing, "am also a showman."
The other figurantes heard that famous teachers went to watch their comrade practising, and began for the first time to take an interest in her.
"Don't you tremble with fright, Lina, when Villeneuve's eyes are on you?"
"No, at least not any more. He isn't my teacher. My husband and Angellini are my teachers. What could Villeneuve do to me?"
"But anything, little silly! One word from him and you could become a coryphée to-night. Another word and he could dismiss you, like that, with a wave of his hand!"
"And if he did? There's a ballet in Russia, a ballet in Paris, and a ballet in London. This is not the only town in the world where one dances."
"That Lina," observed another girl, "already thinks herself Elssler. Teil us, vain one, when are we to have the pleasure of watching you dance the cachucha for us?"
"Never. That's not my style of dancing, Elssler's. She is superb, but I shall never dance as she does."