Some sang, others drummed, still others plucked on string instruments to keep time and maintain morale. Even Marden got in on it, as he tended to do. And the firelizards, well-trained as they were, assisted as best as they could - to the point of raising their own voices in song.
By the time day wore down into evening, all was well within the Caravan, and the musicians had set up properly around an early fire. The dancers put on lighter versions of their usual costumes - none of the heavy, shimmery 'scales' or the like, but plenty of swishy silks and cottons. Zultana joined them, of course; where they dressed in a rainbow of peacock-bright hues, she was striking in bold golds, greens, bronzes, and white.
They clapped to keep time, chanting along with the drums as they took their respective positions some distance from the fire. The tune told them the dance and they, wordlessly, set into it - it was a shorter piece, one designed to be evocative of the shifting of seasons. It started off bright and vibrant, full of shimmies and shakes that would have been more glorious with their scaled belts and chest-pieces. The dance transitioned into something slightly slower, but more sensual, as summer took over. Fall was marked by the gradual departure of dancers, this girl or that simply falling away onto the ground, like leaves from a tree. Winter always found Zultana alone, her dance a jagged, sharp thing, that would end with her in a stark, rigid posture.
But then the springtime melody started again and the thaw happened, with Zultana loosening up and the other dancers slowly unfurling from their prone postures. The dance repeated - again and again - as they perfected and tightened their moves. Occasionally, Marden barked directions from his vantage point on top of a wagon.
It was, all in all, just another evening of dance practice, performed as if no one was watching - just like any good dance should be.