Proud Dancem0m

A couple of weeks ago, we decided to check out the dance studio that I danced at growing up. We walked into their new center, and was so impressed by how nice (and huge) the waiting area was. I saw one of my closest friend’s sister there waiting for her dancer to finish up her class. It started off on a great note, until the owner, my former dance teacher came out…

Now, I will admit, when I was in my last year of competition, I was not as committed as I could have been. I didn’t want to work as hard as she wanted me to, and I made some mistakes in competitions. When I injured my knee, I didn’t go back the next year, and the teacher was less than thrilled. She and I didn’t always get along, but I still respected her… I thought after 20 years, the hard feelings would go away… maybe she was having a bad day, but I thought she was downright rude. I’m so glad Grace didn’t notice the rudeness in her tone (though, I will admit, I may have also felt a little tension from unresolved feelings too). Anyway, said owner/dance teacher told me (without even seeing Grace dance) that she wouldn’t even consider her for competition dance since she hadn’t danced there before. She said she “might” consider her for the 3/4th grade performance line after an audition. I was pretty ticked. How cocky is that to assume that she’s not going to be good enough just because she didn’t dance there, and had danced in WI?!? She’s been dancing since she was 3, and was going into 5th grade. To not even consider her for her own age level after dancing at a competitive level for a year felt like a huge insult (especially since she hadn’t even see her dance)!

Fast forward a couple days, and we went to the open house for Lake Area Dance Center (LADC). We had seen these girls dance at competitions the year before, we knew they were awesome! Grace had expressed her interest several times in going there. In all reality, I know the competition for slots in groups is tough in the Cities – especially in studios that frequently score Platinum. In my own head, I didn’t know if Grace would be able to make one of those spots, but of course, I had to encourage her to try. Miss Maria was willing to give Grace a one-on-one audition. She started with tap – the one thing Grace hasn’t had much exposure to since Kindergarten. She did some tap last year, but not as much as she could have. After about 15 minutes, Maria came out and asked me about Grace’s tap experience. I was honest. She told me tap is kind of a big deal there, and she was a bit concerned with Grace’s skill level. Ugh! She did say though, that Grace responded well to instruction and redirection. She had Grace put on her toe pads, and did some jazz with her. Grace has been doing jazz or hip hop all along. I felt good about how that one would go. She came out and said that her age and skill level were in between two groups. Skill-wise, she’d fit into the sparkles, but would be the oldest one. If she was an Angel, she’d be one of the youngest, but would be with 3 other girls that were also either new to the studio, or new to competition. She offered her an extended audition in the pre-school year classes that were to be held this week. She wanted to see how she’d do in the class, how she’d fit with the group, etc. Grace admitted to me that she was a bit nervous, because she knew Miss Maria would work them really hard, and it was going to be a lot of dancing. She wanted to try it though…

Yesterday was the ballet class. Grace was nervous, but also excited, because ballet is what she thinks she’s best at. She looked like one of the youngest in the class. I later found out that there were 3 other 10 year olds, all a month younger than her. Not too bad… She seemed to be keeping up pretty well. Tonight was the dreaded tap class. I wasn’t able to stay and watch this time, because I had to go get the kids’ school supplies. She was more nervous, but had had so much fun the night before, that she was more excited to go back.

I came to pick her up, and she came out all excited. “Mom, mom, 2 things… one, Miss Maria wants to talk to you, and two, I have to make a poster….” That sounded encouraging. I found Miss Maria, and she told me that she thought Grace WAS a good fit in the Angels, and she assumed I was still interested in the same for her. I immediately said YES! I thought Grace was going to pee herself, she was SOOO excited! I must admit, I am probably just about as excited for her! I am definitely proud of my little dancer tonight!!!

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