Degas trotted off to the ballet school once more. He’d sketched the dancers hundreds of times now. And crafted many paintings. But to say he was infatuated with the dancers was a façade of sorts. It was the dance teacher who intrigued him most. He didn’t know anyone quite like him. He was not from Paris that was clear, but he didn’t even seem from this time. Though that thought might have been suggested by the tall tales that he would tease Degas with. That he was a man who traveled through time and place to teach his ways. That he was a man who traveled from country to country and from one century to another. He traveled from when and where so he could treat lucky individuals to his unique teaching style.
And his teaching style was unique. He often took the dancers on strange trips to perform bizarre chores for days on end. They would never question his methods and would spend days carrying out these strange tasks before returning to the dance class. Degas would humour the teacher always asking for more stories of his past, and he almost believed him, the detail of the stories wove a convincing tale.
Most intriguing of all was that the teacher said he never taught the same subject twice. And never lived in the same country twice. And never lived in the same time period twice. In 1924, he taught bullfighters in Spain. From 2040 to 2042, in Peru, he taught robots to play football better than humans. Of these tall tales Degas had a favourite; of the America boy the teacher thought to fight. Degas asked the teacher to tell that story again. And smiled as he heard it once more.
It was later that day that Degas painted one of his masterpieces, La classe de danse. The dancing class. This time he made sure to include their very special time travelling teacher. Mr Miyagi. Wax on, Wax off Daniel San.