I will now tell you the tale of Faith Single. Faith was a young girl with great ambition. Everyone knew her as a strong, independent, athletic child with big dreams. The summer when she was 10 years old she went all the way to the World Hopscotch Cup. But sadly, she lost to a small Japanese girl who had the wind on her side that fateful day and brought the gold medal back to her nation which needed some good news. This was a hard loss for Faith to accept, but being the driven young girl that she was she moved on and continued her training. Then one day she received a call from an after school program saying they wanted her to come be a part of. She had gone through a pretty horrific hip surgery somewhat recently that threatened her whole hopscotch career. But she was ranked the #1 hopscotcher in the whole world and was not about to give that up. So while still recovering from the injury she wasn’t sure if she should engage in this after school program. Although the World Hopscotch Cup wouldn’t come around again for another 4 years, she had a chance at the Hopscotch Olympics the next summer and didn’t want to risk injury.
In the end she realized by attending this program she may be able to inform and educate more children on hopscotch and get them to become fans of the sport in the U.S. The program was called “Dancing With The 6th Graders”. It was sponsored by a local company, A-B-C (All Biased Company). They were overly accepting to some kids in the program, but very harsh to others, so I suppose it was a fitting name. It was a program that encouraged younger kids who had no extracurricular activities to keep them occupied. It gave them a chance to pick their careers…I mean school grades…back up and on track. Faith knew she didn’t need help with any of that because she was very driven, goal oriented, and at the top of her hopscotch career. But knew it would be a great challenge for her, since a fear of hers was dancing with the older kids.
Faith still had hopscotch duties to fulfill so she knew it would be a hectic schedule, but she was ready. If anyone could do it…Faith could. She began training with the 6th grader they paired her up with; a foreign exchange student named Max Chsmerszdaodsahzmdwoskey. Max and Faith looked perfect together, it was a match made in heaven. But they butted heads quite often. They were both very stubborn and competitive. It was in fact their greatest strength and weakness as a team. Her practice schedule was hectic and she was doing everything she could to keep up with school work, hopscotch training, DWT6G, and also making personal appearances on local sports shows for her hopscotch career.
I won’t go into details on every other couple but they included Vicki Rake, who had experience on the stage in the town’s production of Hairbrush; a musical based in the 1960’s about a young girl who didn’t fit in. She also had her own local children’s day time talk show speaking with at risk 7 year olds. Then there was Sob Parnashian, a boy who’s actual name was Rob but every nicknamed him Sob because he was always crying about his 3 older sisters getting everything. (Also because he was a son of a bitch) But the girls sure did swoon over him because of a certain physical asset that ran in his family. There was also a flamboyant young fellow named Larson who made all the costumes for everyone, a happy-go-lucky kid named Shaz who was always singing Sonny and Cher songs, and a tall awkward boy who played basketball but everyone knew he was crazy after he changed his name to Betta Universe Olive Branch. Then there was RJ, a very brave boy who was hurt while fighting off bad guys and bullies from the playground and everyone loved and respected him. None of the kids other than Faith had much of anything going on outside of school. So they had plenty of time to rehearse for the program while Faith worked diligently to balance her hectic schedule. At times she was ridiculed for not practicing enough for DWT6G which was false. To an athlete, like Faith, this was hard to hear because she knew how hard she was training.
The teachers who would be running the program were all quite different. One was an elderly British teacher, Ben, who didn’t condone any type of modern dancing and absolutely hated everything and everyone. Then there was an Italian man, Juno (not to be confused with the pregnant Ellen Page character, although the way his moods changed, he may have been pregnant), who was very animated in his critiques and slightly creepy about it. Last was Berry Ann Inababababa, who seemed to despise strong girls with a good head on their shoulders. There was something about a strong beautiful young girl that just made her sick.
Throughout the program it became very apparent that the teachers wanted Faith gone. If the judges didn’t like you, the rest of the kids on the playground would determine if you got to stick around for the next week. Luckily, Faith was extremely popular. Her fans called themselves “Fingles”, a fun play on her name. The Fingles were 200% behind Faith and vowed to help her because they all admired her so very much. But the program was breaking her spirit. Faith was proud and very competitive so when she received such harsh and unprovoked mean criticism that other kids weren’t receiving it was hard for her. Also, A-B-C never gave them much time to shine or highlight their big, fun moments together as a pair. Since they were sponsoring the program it was up to them to help the children network themselves for playground votes. But they made it an uphill battle from day 1 for young Faith. She and her partner Max were both very outspoken so they found themselves in detention quite a bit from voicing their opinions to the teachers. But this made their fans like them even more! It was refreshing for the other kids to see someone standing up for themselves and not just playing the safe, PR friendly, brown nosing game of reality competition sho…I mean…playground politics.
One day Faith’s hip injury starting acting up. She knew she had to power through so barely spoke of it but did need to seek some medical attention. That same day RJ got a boo boo. The teachers were very concerned for RJ’s boo boo. While there was not one mention of Faith’s hip which was literally being held together with staples and anchors from her surgery, they seemed overly concerned with RJ’s boo boo. RJ wanted to continue on, he didn’t want to be coddled or told he could not continue. After all, he was a strong boy who was a hero to many. But the teachers insisted on coddling him like a newborn baby. Later, Faith had two great dances but the teachers were determined to stop her that day. If she made it past that day it meant she was in the final 3. They were irritated by this strong, independent, athletic and beautiful young girl. They weren’t used to dealing with children who stood up for themselves and they wanted her gone. So they gave her some very harsh criticisms and made it very clear to the kids on the playground they shouldn’t be voting for her.
Alas, the teachers got their way. Faith was banished from DWT6G. This made some of the Fingles very upset, but they knew it was for the best. This program was breaking her down and she did not deserve the unwarranted and at times offensive comments from the teachers. She went out there, faced her fears and proved a lot to herself, to her fans and to her critics. Faith inspired many people, giving them hope, lots of hope…tons of hope. And also showed that athletic girls can be beautiful and graceful and rock a ball gown like it’s no one’s business. Her fans were also excited, knowing that her leaving DWT6G meant she would be able to focus all of her time now on the 2012 Hopscotch Olympics. It was time for Faith to go back to doing what she was born to do. She inspired, entertained, and captivated the town during her time on the program and it was a journey she will never forget.
The 2012 Hopscotch Olympics should prove to be an epic event. Faith Single is going there with a mission; a mission to bring the gold medal back to America where it belongs, just like she did in 2008. Faith: Thank you for your courage, strength and ability to be an amazing role model to not just young girls, but people everywhere. You are a beautiful girl with more talent, charisma and poise than most people could ever dream of and you carry yourself with an air of confidence and pride that is admirable.
In short; you’re a beautiful independent individual riding Solo. Thanks for giving us Hope.