YEARS ago I got my then six-year-old to a dance concert dress rehearsal with no time to spare.
As soon as we arrived at the back door to the Albury Entertainment Centre, the stage hand whisked my daughter away and through the wings to the stage.
She was meant to be in a clown costume but, of course, her suit was still hanging up in one of the upstairs dressing rooms.
My daughter’s full dress rehearsal was imminent and she was a circus short of a clown costume.
To add insult to injury, the stage hand yelled as she rushed my daughter to join her troupe on centre stage: “WE’VE GOT A LATE CLOWN!!”
Standing backstage and wondering how I’d mucked this up so monumentally and how I’d counsel my ever-so-shy-and-no-doubt-by-now-mortified-eldest-daughter, the stage hand came back to me to explain: “The dress rehearsal time was changed yesterday! We’re running about 40 minutes early. It’s not your fault!”
It was back when Facebook wasn’t routinely used to communicate any new plans to people quickly.
IN OTHER NEWS:
It was only my eldest daughter’s second annual dance concert; she did just one 45-minute lesson a week and would spend a couple of minutes on stage. We were small fry in a big pond.
Anyhow, when I shared the news with my daughter that we weren’t told about the early rehearsal, she was relieved but not entirely convinced.
During the concert the next day she insisted on sitting backstage for the first two acts despite not performing until mid-way through the third.
She did not want to miss her cue!
Even the stage hand, try as she might, could not convince my daughter that we had plenty of time to sit in the audience to watch the first two acts.
We were constantly in people’s way backstage and made ourselves mega sick on mini rice crackers but we were technically three hours and five minutes early for her troupe’s routine.
There were no issues at my daughter’s first dance concert the year before except for the costume, itself.
My eldest was perfectly happy to be decked out as a pirate – courtesy of being in a troupe with two boys – until she noted for the first time at the dress rehearsal that 95 per cent of the girls her age were wearing seriously sweet dresses.
She didn’t even say a word; it was the look on her face that said everything.
However, she soldiered on like a pirate with a peg leg.
It wasn’t until her fifth annual dance concert that my eldest daughter finally wore her first ballet dress in a performance.
You could not wipe the smile off her face and it’s been a fixture on stage ever since.
(My youngest daughter, on the other hand, loves dance and hates tutus. When she had to wear a sweet tutu as a six-year-old the year before last, she was crushed that she couldn’t have been an eskimo and instead had to wear a “too-sticky-outy-skirt”! You can’t even make this stuff up!!)
My daughter’s full dress rehearsal was imminent and she was a circus short of a clown costume. To add insult to injury, the stage hand yelled as she rushed my daughter to join her troupe on centre stage: “WE’VE GOT A LATE CLOWN!!”
After nine years of dancing, my eldest got fitted for her first pair of pointe shoes in Wodonga at the weekend.
The graduation to pointe shoes is a big deal for a young ballerina; most girls start pointe work aged 11 or 12 or when deemed physically, technically and mentally ready by their teachers.
My daughter and her friend excitedly tried on five or six pairs of pointe shoes each over about an hour with their fitter.
While I generally wear a good, solid heel, the built-up toes seemed to put the girls head and shoulders above me.
They were shown how to sew their own ribbons and elastic to their shoes; they were told if you were old enough to go on pointe, you were old enough to sew. (I mentally made a list of darning jobs at home!)
Whether it’s Little Athletics, basketball, playing an instrument or dance, every child faces different challenges and reaches myriad milestones along the way. Wherever they are in that process, remember all of the big steps but especially the little ones.
Even “late clowns” will rise to pointe when the time is right!
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