Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dance Lessons!

Lila and Emily just finished up their year in dance with a recital. Now good or bad.. sometimes both.. my personality is such that whatever I take on I want to do well.. it's just how the good Lord made me! So I think I surprised myself with how nonchalant I was about the whole dance routine/recital thing... or maybe I was surprised at how seriously some of the other moms took this whole thing!

So, now that it's over we can reflect on the whole experience here is what I walk away having learned from dance..
1) Each dancer is unique and great in their own way... I think I may have mentioned this before.. some dancers may be dainty and graceful and others just like to have FUN.. I love both approaches the same and wouldn't change my bull in a china shop for anything... but, let me also say, as her loving mother, she did get a lot better towards the end of the year!
2) Dance is obviously a very big deal to some people.. not that this is a bad thing.. just not a big deal to everyone, i.e. ME!
3) Stage Moms really do exist!
4)I am clearly not one of them.. I could care less how my children perform... just as long as they have fun. We don't practice at home everyday and I don't stand off to the side to show my disapproval if they don't smile big enough, tap on beat, or keep up with the music!
5) If the studio wants you to put make-up on your sweet little four and five year olds for pictures, rehearsal and performance.. just do it... not worth upsetting so many stage moms over!
6) All instructions for costume, hair style, make-up and polishing of tap shoes must be followed to a T... don't you dare even think about that pony tail not being on the TOP of your daughter's head.. even an inch lower WILL be noticed!
7) Never, Never, Ever forget to put the gloves/arm things on your kids before they line up for the dress rehearsal! NEVER EVER! You will surely pay for this with a lashing of words by the stgae director.. and if you should find yourself in this situation, cover your little one's ears at the first hint that things are going south.. too bad I only had two hands and four ears to cover!
8) If your spirited child gets a run in her tights, make sure you buy a replacement pair from the dance studio.. even if you buy a replacement pair at Target and Payless, they still won't match and one shade off can certainly send those serious dance people over the edge! Dance is very expensive when it is all said and done.. tuition, costumes, recital fees, pictures, videos, makes my head swim.. and you really don't want to tack on an extra $20 for tights they will never wear again!
9) On the day of the recital, don't count on following directions as being the right thing to do. If one group of teachers tell you to stay with your children until they line up for their performance resist the temptation to obey... the whole auditorium just may be waiting for that seat your husband is saving for you to be filled before the show can start. So, by following the directions you are given, you take the risk of unknowingly delaying the performance because the fire marshall won't let anyone else in, per code, and your husband is still saving that seat third row from the front that must be filled before the kids can dance! This is probably the biggest lesson because, trust me, you will be SO embarassed when you walk in and the man on the stage with the mic heckles you in front of everyone for holding up the show. Forget about all those children with nervous, excited energy back in the gym waiting for their turn to perform with only two people to watch them.. don't think about those metal bleachers folded in the corner that they are letting kids in slippery dance shoes climb all over... erase the memory of your little one spending one whole hot summer in a cast and fearing it may happen again.. just sit in your seat and smile as you choke on all the ugly things you could 'heckle' back to the man with the mic on the stage! Just smile and enjoy the show until someone stands up in front of you to get a better look at their child performing and you have to miss out again! : )

So many things learned... and not just for the children learning to dance! IF we ever get brave enough to take on dance again I will try so much harder! For now, I'd just be happy with a t-shirt that says, "I survived the Dance Recital!" Seriously!
I won't be able to post their performance because no cameras were allowed in the auditorium and they made it perfectly clear with signs posted every few feet that you would be escorted out of the show if caught taking pictures.. still or video. We were allowed to video the rehearsal, but I haven't looked at it yet to see if it is post worthy.. there was one mom who thought it was more important to capture her dancer above anyone else, so she planted herself right up ON THE STAGE in front of my little dancers just so she could get the perfect angle of her little star! No, I'm not bitter or anything... but, maybe I should just go ahead and post that video of her derriere on the internet for all to see... Can you tell this is big a pet peeve of mine. Same thing happened at Lila's 'graduation' from preschool... you get there early so you will have a good seat, thus good pictures and then crowds of parents practically come sit in your lap during the one part you've been waiting to see, to get their picture.. why bother getting there early? Get there right as it starts, sit in the back rows and then just push your way up to the front and plop down in front of the people who got there early so they could get good pictures... I mean, of course your little one is so much more important than their's right? Why would we want a picture of our kid? Don't people take others into consideration?!? Okay, off the soap box! Pictures soon to follow!

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