“To those of us with real understanding, dancing is the only pure art form.”
At some point in her young life, almost every little girl wants to be a ballerina. It’s the tutu’s that rope ’em in, I think – a ballerina’s wardrobe is a dream come true, plus they get special shoes and sequins! Ballet lessons are like some bizarre right of passage that every princess-in-training should undergo in her youth. Teagan’s time of twirling had arrived, and so for six whole months, she became a ballerina!
T had a fabulous time leaping, spinning, and learning lots of fancy words like arabesque, but her favorite part about ballet was getting to hang out in pretty leotards with a bunch of giggly girls! She had instruction in ballet, tap, and jazz once a week, and although in reality she learned absolutely nothing about the dance forms themselves, she had a lot of fun doing it!
The best part came when T found out that she was gonna get to be in a recital, on a STAGE, in a beautiful costume with a TUTU and SEQUINS on it. And that people would applaud for her and her friends when they showed off their amazing dance moves under the lights. . . it doesn’t get much better than this!
She and her classmates practiced for months to get their routine down pat. This ensured that none of them had any idea what was going on during the show! I’m almost sure it was intentional on the instructor’s part, because really? There’s nothing more adorable than tiny clueless ballerinas dancing on a stage. They brought down the house after each number, and got more applause than any of the other classes – on sheer cuteness alone!
I was a bit dismayed by the massive amount of makeup they were expected to cake on to achieve a ‘natural look’ on stage, but Puff found the entire process to be utterly hysterical! I don’t know how well you can see from the picture, but we went a little bit overboard on the glitter. . . as tends to be the norm for us! We were the only ones that brought glitter out of T’s bunch (though they all looked just as much like clowns without it), but it didn’t take long for every tiny dancer to line up for her turn with the sparkles! By show-time, not only Teagan, but all her little friends (and most of their parents by default) were shimmering like the little stars they were .
The ‘theme’ for the show was ‘The Nightmare Before the Recital.’ Something about a sleepover birthday party during which the girls fall asleep and have a nightmare before waking up to have a recital, all somehow enacted through terrible dance routines. . . don’t ask me, I didn’t understand it, either. The entire show lasted somewhere around THREE HOURS! I was glad that I spent most of it (except for her numbers) backstage with T!
The tots opened the show with a song called ‘Happy Birthday.’ This was their jazz routine, in which they got to dance around with presents in front of a giant birthday cake. There were also two older kids on stage with them dressed as gifts, but they didn’t make into any of these pictures! Whoops!
Then there was a long, long, LONG wait for the girlies (and the audience) until the nightmare on stage was in full swing. For their next number, the girls got to tap their tiny toes to the ‘Purple People Eater’ song!
As you can tell by her giant grin, this was her favorite dance of the three. Not only was it the only one set to a fun kid’s song, but they got to wear their tap shoes. Oh my. . . how she does love those tap shoes! (now that classes are over, we store them in the art center, where T can often be found tapping up a storm while waiting for the paint to dry on one of her fabulous projects)
The ‘changing room’ backstage where we hung out between sets was in a school gymnasium. With no air-conditioning. In June. The heat made the poor little ones, who were already up after their bedtime, quite grumpy. That and the fact that they were constantly getting hollered at for rolling around on the dirty floor in their WHITE costumes! Luckily for us mommy-types, there were bleachers. And if you ever need to know, bleachers are an awesome diversion for keeping small children in white off dirty floors!
For their last dance, our dainty damsels finally got to put on their pretty tutu’s and be real ballerinas! I only have one good shot from that dance, as T was so exhausted by that point that she really wasn’t having as much fun as she had been earlier. . . but goodness! Isn’t she just beautiful up there?!! During this last routine, the class was accompanied by older classmates dressed as Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch, and danced to a slow and dreamy song called ‘It’s a great day to be a Monster.’
After the performance, T’s daddy presented her with a bouquet of rainbow carnations. This confirmation of her super-stardom thrilled Teagan for well over a week! She also was super excited that so many of her friends and family had come out to see her dance! After spending a few short minutes with her biggest fans, she let them know in no uncertain terms that she was going home, because it was far past her bedtime, and she was VERY tired – poor little ballerina!
Teagan was very disappointed the next day when she learned that ‘her show’ was a one-time thing, and she wouldn’t be able to do it again the following night – or until she had taken six more months of dance lessons. She really enjoyed the experience of being onstage, and has since been making up tons of crazy dance routines that she performs for me on a ‘stage’ built from couch pillows. She liked the dance classes a lot, no doubt about that, but she definitely had a lot more fun with gymnastics, and is looking forward to getting back onto the mats. . . and the trampoline!