italian dancer

Cléo de Mérode (1901). Giovanni Boldini (Italian, 1842-1931). Oil on canvas.

Cléo de Mérode (1875-1966), an international sensation and one of the most photographed woman in the world in her time, was a French ballerina, who achieved fame with her face, not her feet. Cléo was a good dancer but her beauty caught the public’s eye. By 13, she already had posed for Jean-Louis Forain and Edgar Degas, who often sketched her.

Piece for KHR Collab

I got @athanatosora and her lovely art for the KHR Collab Exchange.  I did the piece on her Vongola Dance Au Artwork.   


Most people didn’t understand how tough it was not to be able to dance.  Most people were lucky enough not to understand.  If they didn’t dance, their parents simply didn’t care.  It didn’t affect anyone.  Of course, Tsuna wasn’t most people.  Because most people didn’t have a father who ran the prestigious Vongola Dance Academy.

With people coming from all over the world to train at the renowned school, Tsuna cursed the fact that he had been born so clumsy.  Of course his parents promised they weren’t disappointed in him, and neither of them ever seemed disappointed, but Tsuna felt like they had to be at some point.  He probably would have been.

Iemitsu Sawada had once upon a time been a well-known Italian dancer, and once upon a time (in actuality, not even 20 years before) had met the beautiful dancer, Nana, well known for her performances of Chu No Mai.  The eighteen year old Japanese young woman had caught the then twenty-two year old dancer from Italy.  They feel in love got married quickly, made headlines together, were famous dancers and then, Nana got pregnant and decided to retire.

Iemtisu, not wanting to dance with anyone besides his cute wife, retired as well, deciding to work for Nono Vongola – the founder of the Dance Academy.  He was quickly put in charge of recruitment for the school, and thus started his travels.

Growing up, Tsuna used to think that maybe if he was able to dance, than his father would stay at home more.  If he was good enough, his father wouldn’t have to constantly search for more dancers for the school.  By the time he reached his teenage years, he realized that it wouldn’t have made a difference.

However, it didn’t change that he had always wished he had the ability to dance well-enough that he could actually fit in with his father’s ideals.  Not to say that he didn’t get along with them well-enough, in fact, he would often head over to the Academy, set up in the heart of Nanimori right after school.  It helped that he was close friends with two of the most aspiring dancers.

“Maa maa, Tsuna, I heard that your old man said that he was bringing in two more dancers today, do you know anything of this?”  Yamamoto Takeshi, a self-taught hip-hop dancer had actually been found by Iemitsu when he was going to the store with the then eleven year old Tsuna. Yamamoto had just been dancing to music with a group of friends.  Iemtisu had recognized the talent then and there.  The boy had been going to Vongola by the next week.

“You can’t ask him something like that.  There are rules against that.”  Gokudera Hayato, trained in jazz by the New Orleans born Shamal, and having been one of the few of the most promising upcoming dancers to actually have been trained from the beginning.  As such, he knew more about the “business” side of dancing than either of the others. “There’s privacy things involved, recruitment issues.  “Even if Tsuna did know, he couldn’t tell you.  Don’t listen to him, Tsuna.”

Tsuna grinned as Yamamoto tried to both explain what he had meant – he was just curious, didn’t want to get involved with the business side of it – and simultaneously explain it.  His two best friends were probably as different as their two dance styles. Hip-hop which was free and fun, all up to the personal expression of the dancer, like Yamamoto’s laid-back attitude, he got his inspiration from the music as it came.  Gokudera like the much more refined, stricter style of jazz.  

Coming up to the school, Tsuna stared at the Sasagawa siblings going into the building. Ryohei, older than him by two years old, had somehow managed to be convinced to give up boxing for the martial art style of dance, capoeira.  But it wasn’t Ryohei that was attracting Tsuna’s attention, it was the younger of the siblings.  The beautiful Kyoko Sasagawa was being trained in Chu No Mai, a moderate paced version of the Noh Mai; the story-telling type of dance that Tsuna’s own mother still performed sometimes at the cultural fests.  

“Why don’t you ever talk to her?”  Yamamoto asked as Tsuna immediately slowed his pace to avoid bumping into the siblings when they entered the building.

“Me? Talk to the school idol?  I don’t think so,” Tsuna laughed nervously. “Kyoko is the school idol, the most popular girl in school, a talented dancer.  What could we possibly have to talk about?”  

“She would be lucky to talk to you, Tsuna.”  Gokudera said in all earnestness.  Tsuna smiled weakly, one of his first friends often ignored many of Tsuna’s flaws – yes Tsuna might have been the first kid to go out of his way to make friends with the jazz dancer when he first showed up at Nanimori. Also, being the son of the man who had found the young boy and had recruited him to the prestigious school probably didn’t hurt anything.  

Tsuna’s breath of relief as he walked in the front door died a quick death as he took note of the tension that was right there in the front door.  A quick look to the front of the welcome area let everyone know the root of said tension.

A rather furious Hibari Kyoya was glaring rather angrily another teenage boy, who was smirking in return.  Iemitsu Sawada stood in between them, talking quietly to Hibari.  

“Aren’t those the Estraeno School’s dancers?”  Yamamoto asked as he pointed to the boy opposite Hibari and the girl next to him.

Gokudera and Tsuna were able to confirm that yes, yes those were the dancers from the Vongola’s biggest rival Academy on the “international scale” – the Italian founded Estraneo School of Dance.  Hibari’s angry expression suddenly understood – in the last competition, Hibari had lost (a very close second) to the other school’s tap dancer.  (It had only come to light later that the Vongola’s dancer had hurt his leg a few days previously and his performance became much more impressive).  

He had taken the loss quite personally and Tsuna was willing to bet that Hibari would never forget that fateful competition – and would willingly singly handedly destroy Estraneo School of Dance if given the chance.  The sheepish grin on Iemistu’s face let Tsuna knew that he had forgotten the personal vendetta Hibari had against the ballet duo’s previous school.

“Well, looks like things are going to get a whole lot more interesting around here.” Smooth accented Japanese came from right behind Tsuna and his two friends.  Tsuna felt himself going colder, having the premonition that Hibari’s issue was going to be the least of his worries.  

He turned to see his godfather, Renato Sinclair, another famed Italian dancer and his father’s best friend.

“Reborn?” The nickname attached to his godfather since Tsuna was a child tumbled from his lips accompanied by a shiver.  “What are you doing?”

“Nono convinced me to take a break from the dancing aspect of things, I’ll be a tutor for the Academy now.”

“That’s nice,” Tsuna commented weakly.  There was a sadistic gleam to his godfather’s eyes, one that Tsuna really, really didn’t like.  “I guess you’ll be busy then.

“Of course. But don’t worry, Iemtisu’s already talked to me about your ballroom tutoring.  Three times a week it was?”  

Tsuna wondered if it was too late to run…  probably.



Artistic liberties with backstories, nationalities and age

Also, only knowledge of all these dances comes through friends (except Ballroom, that’s what I did…)

I love this au honestly, I had so much fun with it!!!  Thank you!!!

Nico and Hazel, swing dancing. Nico looks more like an Italian dancer than I actually intended him to be, but that’s a) not entirely inaccurate and b) definitely not a bad thing.

I did not think I was a girl for a dance academy au, but this one got me drawing and now I have like three sketches for ballerina!Reyna because that would be amazing. We’ll see if those ever see the light of day.

Barbara Campanini (7 June 1721 - 7 June 1799) known as Barbarina, was an Italian dancer with European fame. In 1739, she successfully performed in Paris, and then went to London for a still more triumphant career. By 1744, she was a famous dancer in Venice, and Frederick II the Great invited her to dance at the Berlin Opera from 1744 to 1748. This portrait of Barbarina was commissioned by Frederick and was originally installed behind his desk in his oval white and gold study at the Berlin Palace. The dancer’s marriage to the son of the Prussian High Chancellor incurred the king’s rage. Upon her divorce, Barbarina was given the title of Countess of Campanini