Sam walks into the children's department calling for Jeff and Muffy. "Did you call me, Sam?" Jeff asks, coming in. "No, I called you Jeff, I'm Sam!" he laughs. After Jeff and Muffy have both arrived, Sam tells them they will have to help Jodie tonight. They wonder if something's wrong, and Jodie herself arrives and says nothing's wrong but she has permission to leave the store tonight for a while.
"Leave the store? Whatever for?" Muffy asks.
Jodie explains that she is having a special test for her dance class tonight. She has to show that she knows how to do all the ballroom and popular dances.
Muffy has heard of tap and ballet, but wonders what ballroom dancing is.
Sam explains that those are the dances people do when they go out dancing.
Jodie explains in song. She sings about the minuet, the tango, and square dancing, each time she and Jeff demonstrate.
"So many dances, but here's one that's new, you sort of do what you want to do, just wave your arms and set your body free, and that's how to do the new Muffy!" And then they all demonstrate, waving their arms wildly from side to side.
Back in her mouse hole, Muffy decides that ballroom dancing in a crowd is silly if you're a mouse, because someone might step on you. So instead, Muffy is reading a new book. "Waldo's Magic Book of This and That". She finds a spell that will give her wish eight times if she says, "Abra-dee, abra-do, with a hay and a ho and a nonny nonny no!" She decides to wish that her four dolls will get up and dance. She says the magic words and poof! We're transported to a forest setting in which Jeff Hyslop (disguised with a mask), Karen Kain, Nikki Tilroe dressed as a dragon and Madeline Paul dressed as a swamp beast, dance merrily together.
Muffy's thrilled with her success and is ready to use the magic to play tricks on everyone. When she tries to leave though, she hits her head on the door.
"Just once I'd like this silly door not to knock me to the floor!" Muffy says. Then she remembers her magic trick, and uses it to transport magically through the door without touching it.
Meanwhile, Jodie is trying to practice the waltz for her test. She has put some footprints on the floor to mark where she should step and where her partner should step. "One, two, three, one two three, one two three," she counts as she dances, but she's soon lost. She asks us to help out by counting out the beat for her as she tries to dance. Jeff interrupts. He has a box of shoes that Jodie has asked for, and they go off to the side to look in the box for shoes to match her blue dress. Meanwhile, Muffy decides to have fun with her magic trick. She says the magic words and causes Jodie's footprints to scramble in odd directions. When Jeff and Jodie have found the shoes, they come back to the footprints, and Jeff offers to help her practice by being her partner. Trying to dance on the newly scrambled footprints makes them twist around like pretzels.
"Are you sure this is how to do the waltz?" Jeff asks. Jodie thinks maybe she did something wrong, so they go off to look at the directions for the footprints again. Meantime, Muffy pops up again and says the spell, causing the footprints to go back to normal.
"Did you see that?" Jeff asks.
"What's happening?" Jodie wonders.
Sam comes in. He has seen what Muffy did and he reprimands her for upsetting Jodie. Muffy explains that she didn't mean any harm. Jeff agrees with Sam that Muffy was wrong and Muffy apologizes. Jodie says, "I'm never going to learn to do the waltz anyway so it really doesn't matter. I'll probably fall over right in the middle of the test."
"It doesn't matter if you do fall over," Jeff "as long as you try your best. That's what I've learned." he says, and sings to her "Don't give up, just try, try, try!" Muffy and Sam join in. So Jodie gets back on the footprints and starts trying again, singing, "If there's a problem, don't run away, stay there and solve it till it's O.K." Jeff joins her and soon they are waltzing very well. She did it! "Oh, thank you!" she tells her friends.
It's almost time for Jodie to go. She comes out of the dressing room in a beautiful blue dress and a shimmering hat with sequins and a feather. Muffy present a blue flower from all of them to show how much they care, and Jeff pins it onto Jodie's dress, promising that they'll all keep their fingers crossed for her.
Once Jodie leaves, Sam encourages everyone to get to work. He crosses his fingers and is off. Muffy goes too. Jeff tells us it's difficult to work when you're thinking about a friend, but he begins to put away the box of shoes. He is surprised to see a soldier's hat in the shoe box and tries it on, daydreaming about being a soldier.
In his daydream he is marching and dancing in front of a big castle and is joined by some wind-up soldiers. He ends his dance with a salute.
Trying to get back to work, Jeff takes off the soldier's hat, but he accidentally knocks off his magic hat in the process. Muffy comes along, sees Jeff standing still, and his hat on the floor. She uses her new magic spell to put the hat back on Jeff's head since she can't climb up that high herself, and then says "Hocus, pocus, alamagocus!" Jeff comes back to life and thanks Muffy for using one of her spells to help him out. He suggests she could also help by telling everyone a story. Muffy agrees but asks for two pairs of shoes from the box to help. He gives her a pair of men's dress shoes and a pair of ballet slippers. Muffy decides to use her spell to help her tell the story well.
The story is of a pair of men's shoes who have no friends. They go looking for someone to be friends with and they come across some lovely ballet slippers dancing. When they ask for friendship, the ballet shoes are indignant. "Friends with you, you scruffy pair, you're dull and dirty and need repair!" The shoes realize she's right, so they go to the shoe store get a polish, a shine, and taps on the heel and toe. When they come back and present themselves to the ballet slippers, the slippers are sorry they were rude before. Muffy explains, "Soon the room was filled with laughter, and they danced happily ever after!"
Muffy, Jeff and Sam are in the children's department waiting for Jodie. Muffy says that she has wished for a new carpet, and she only has one wish left. Jeff suggests she save it for a special occasion. They are all concerned that they haven't heard from Jodie yet, but then Jodie walks in. "Hi, I'm back." she says. "I passed! . . . And the dance I did best was the waltz!" Everyone is thrilled for Jodie and Sam asks for a little demonstration. She says O.K. if Jeff will be her partner, but Jeff feels uncomfortable because she's all dressed up and he's not. So Muffy uses her last magic spell to transform Jeff's clothes into a tuxedo with tails and a top hat. They're all impressed because he looks so elegant, and they sing the song from the beginning of the show again, with different words.
"Of all the dances, people like best, the waltz is lovelier than all the rest a simple step just, one, two three, dancing together in harmony," they sing, and then Jeff says to Jodie, "May I have this dance?"
"Certainly, sir!" Jodie says, and she and Jeff waltz beautifully all around the children's department.
- Which penguin is different from the others? How can we make it just like the others?
- Two big feet, two little feet, two big feet, two little feet, two big feet . . . What comes next?
- What is this hippopotamus doing? How can you tell she's dancing? A real hippo appears and says, "That's a very clever answer."
- This is the first episode where Bob Stutt puppeteered for Nina Keogh. This happened throughout the 1982 season.
- This is the only 1982 episode where Jodie is not wearing the hairstyle that she wore in all the other 1982 episodes of Today's Special.
- This episode has a lot of magical elements, but the reason I like it is because of the human aspect. It was the first episode where everyone else in the store got together to help a frustrated, self-doubting Jodie. The one who is usually the caretaker, the strong one, the one that supports everyone else, is here supported by her friends. It is an especially nice touch that Jeff sings to Jodie the song that Jodie sang to him to encourage him in Games when he was frustrated and self-doubting. It shows how Jeff's character is learning and growing. In a way, it was in this episode that we first saw that Jodie was human, too. And the cast is up to it. The support of all of them for her is very touching. To me, that's' why Dance is so special.
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