Dance Recital

Well, we all sur­vived the year­ly dance recital again. Yay.

Katie has been danc­ing for about 8 years now (she’s 11). Last year she was at a new stu­dio, and after see­ing how much absolute­ly every class AND the dance com­pa­ny sucked at the recital, we found yet anoth­er new stu­dio for this year. It’s much more expen­sive in tuition and in the myr­i­ad fees for every­thing you can think of. The change was worth it, thankfully.

And, of course, right before the recital we had to buy new shoes for all three class­es because they decid­ed that the col­ors they had us get at the begin­ning of the year weren’t the right col­ors for the recital. That’s way annoying—two pairs of $30 shoes that won’t fit by next fall when class­es start again, and a pair of $18 bal­let slip­pers that may or may not fit by next fall.

And none of them REALLY fit that well even now. Katie has long, nar­row feet. Acro­bat­ic, jazz, and bal­let shoes (at least the ones we can find) do not come in nar­row sizes. Nobody can tell me why that is—it’s espe­cial­ly impor­tant that shoes you’re going to dance in fit, right? We had to put insoles and heel grip­pers into them to get them to stop falling off her heels quite as much. That isn’t the stu­dio’s fault, of course—but why don’t the man­u­fac­tur­ers make them in nar­row sizes in the first place?

At least the venue for the recital was FAR nicer than the one last year—a real the­ater, not a crap­py high school audi­to­ri­um. We did­n’t real­ly real­ize that both the recitals would be three hours long, though. And one of Katie’s class­es was danc­ing in the first recital, two were in the sec­ond. At least none of them were in the oth­er two recitals sched­uled for today! The­ater seats aren’t real­ly intend­ed to sit in for six hours a day, as far as I’m con­cerned. My back is NOT happy.

I had to won­der about some of the musi­cal choic­es. Of course, like every­body else, they had to wave the flag fran­ti­cal­ly this year (plans for the recital are made in the fall, and 9/11 was very fresh in every­one’s minds). But they have LOTS of class­es and they were obvi­ous­ly run­ning out of patri­ot­ic songs. I tru­ly believe Woody Guthrie is spin­ning in his grave. Not one but two class­es of tiny tap dancers pat­tered around on stage to the sounds of a sac­cha­rine sopra­no singing “This Land is Your Land” (only the first two vers­es, of course). Tiny tots wear­ing iri­des­cent span­gles and cot­ton-can­dy-pink fringe (with match­ing pink feath­ers in the hair) and NOT what I think of when I hear that song. And tap dance? That was just too odd for that one. The bal­let to “Stars and Stripes For­ev­er” worked bet­ter than I thought it would. But the class that used “In the Navy” for their bal­let num­ber — well, no, that did­n’t work at all.

The stu­dio teach­es bal­let, jazz, tap, mod­ern, lyri­cal, acro­bat­ics, and hip-hop for chil­dren and adults. There were 3‑year-olds and grannies I’d guess at being in their 60s on stage at var­i­ous times. Peo­ple of all ages, sizes, races, and vary­ing lev­els of tal­ent per­formed, and they all seemed to be enjoy­ing them­selves thor­ough­ly. That made it much more enjoy­able than it would have been oth­er­wise. There was a lady my size (and prob­a­bly about my age) in some of the tap and jazz numbers—maybe it isn’t too late for me to learn after all 🙂

I did get a lit­tle tired of see­ing the dance com­pa­ny. They’re good, yes, we all know that. But a few pieces by them in each recital would real­ly be more than enough—maybe one of each dance style at the most? Because let’s be hon­est, 90% of the peo­ple there do not have kids in the com­pa­ny and are sim­ply there to see their lit­tluns dance. 

I fig­ure the focus on the com­pa­ny is mar­ket­ing, though—to have a prayer of get­ting into the com­pa­ny, stu­dents need to take a lot more class­es, go to the sum­mer inten­sives, etc. They must have jazz, tap, and bal­let skills, and are very strong­ly encour­aged to take mod­ern and lyri­cal dance as well. Many of them are tak­ing class­es six days a week. That’s not only a lot of mon­ey in tuition (and cos­tumes and fees), it’s just a lot of time in class for the girls and a lot of time their par­ents have to spend get­ting them back and forth. And hon­est­ly, it’s a lot of devo­tion for a pre-teen. And talk­ing to the dance com­pa­ny par­ents, most of them have been putting in that high lev­el of time and mon­ey from the time the girls were 5 or 6 years old, which makes me think that dance may have been more a parental pri­or­i­ty than the girls’ choice. But hav­ing them want­i­ng to get in the dance com­pa­ny is a total win for the stu­dio because it fills more class­es. Whether that much sin­gle-mind­ed­ness is real­ly healthy for the girls? Well, that’s some­thing that wor­ries me, so I’m hon­est­ly fair­ly relieved that Katie has­n’t shown any inter­est in going to that level.

Cur­rent Mood: 🙂relieved
Cur­rent Music: “Big Ovaries, Baby” — Gaye Adegbalola
Cyn is Rick's wife, Katie's Mom, and Esther & Oliver's Mémé. She's also a professional geek, avid reader, fledgling coder, enthusiastic gamer (TTRPGs), occasional singer, and devoted stitcher.
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