Tag Archives: dancing

Recital Night Notes

12 Jun

After three years of being an unofficial dance mom, you’d think I’d have the tricks for a double recital (about 8 hours in performance mode) down a little better. These are some of my notes from this year to help me for next:

  • Many moms use clothing racks to wheel all their child’s costumes and keep them crisp and easy to sort through during the quick changes. I use one hanger. One hanger for four costumes, a t-shirt and shorts. I’m thinking about getting a rack if Nia’s costume supply grows. Also, if for nothing else, to reserve our spot in the dressing room. Which brings me to the next thing …
  • Racks are the boss. I had Nia’s costumes and accessories all nicely waiting in a small spot near her other dancing buds. I got there earlier than half the room to make sure I’d have a space because I stress about this. I get anxious. (I’m weird about crowds and having an area to work.) Well, a mom who was armed with a rack big enough for three girls’ fancies parked right in front of Nia’s things. I got a little flustered but handled it as “me” as I could. “Um, excuse me. Let me just grab our things … (mumble) that were already here and ready to go …” I probably still won’t get a rack but even if I did, I wouldn’t use it to shove others around.
  • I missed the memo about good snack ideas. Pringles seem to be the chip of choice. I’m thinking it has to do with the tube to prevent crumbs during transit and dressing turmoil. Nia didn’t seem to mind that she was pretty much the only one without the tube of salty crunchies. After all, I couldn’t find Pringles dill pickle chips. I just dumped the dill pickle chips I did have in a plastic container. Voilá. My version of the tube. I will remember grapes and cheese squares next year though. Chippies make for a great mood changer treat but healthy is best!
  • Kind of in line with moods, baby wipes are a must next year for erasing makeup smudges after the very tired performer understandably gets emotional because “I need more lipstick!” or “People are stepping on my blanket!” or “My feet hurt!” (Nia held it together without tears but I want to be prepared.) The outbursts I did witness are quite comical to me because they are usually over nothing and the drama is so overboard only the Coast Guard with a helicopter rope could rescue it from sinking. Or maybe chips …
  • I need to remember slippers and a robe or a wrap to help with Nia’s privacy concerns and comfort.
  • For goodness sakes mom (me) remember the dang body spray glitter! All the girls sparkle with it and it seems like the amount of glitter on both mom and daughter the next morning is directly related to amount of fun had the night before.
  • Bring the makeup remover with us so Nia doesn’t look like an underage college student after a night of hitting bars that don’t card. Also, to help keep her eyes from swelling shut due to sensitivity to the stuff that shouldn’t be on her face yet. Remove it ASAP!
  • This one I don’t really have to remind myself about but I want to always remember that in the craziness of the night, keep my smile and let the happy tears fall, cherishing these years of watching her grow into a young lady. I love being able to give her special one-on-one attention and praise. I want to always be her biggest fan and source of encouragement – and, of course, ready with her emergency dance chips.

You Shine, I Smile (And Cry)

6 Jun

Will I always cry when you shine on stage, Bean? Tonight, during your third year of recital dress rehearsals, as usual, I couldn’t hold back the tears.

You look so grown up. You look so happy. You look beautiful. You impress me.

I’m so proud of you for remembering all of the routines. (Four this year with ballet, jazz, tap and clogging.) You worked hard all year to get those dances down and were brave to try out clogging before you even knew what it was. Turns out, you truly shine when you clog. I can tell you are having so much fun. My heart is overjoyed. Thank you for giving it a try and for never giving up when you messed up or felt a little tired. My emotions surrender to your spirit. And, your quick-stepping shoes.

Me vs. Dancing

1 Mar

I am not much of a dancer. I love to dance, but it doesn’t love me very much. I took dancing lessons when I was a child, but I had happy blinders on back then and only felt the joy of it, not the embarrassment. I dance in the kitchen when I’m cooking. I dance in front of the kids who only laugh when I really exaggerate my skills. (Their laughs make me happy so I actually exaggerate a lot around them. Plus, I don’t want them to ever be afraid to break it down like their mom.) I can’t even dance with my husband. (One of the reasons I was so happy my wedding dress covered my feet.) I’ve tried to dance in a dance-exercise class, but the other adult students, the instructors and the mirrors all made me feel self-conscious. It was all on me though. No one was being mean to me to make me feel that way. I was not being kind to myself and I never really felt encouraged. Then, my friend, Leigh, invited me to go to a Zumba class with her at a local church. I had attended another Zumba class once before because everyone talked about how fun it was. I ended up feeling like I always do. Well, that was a downer.

I remember the way I felt before meeting Leigh for the class. I didn’t want to go. I told myself, go to see Leigh and burn some calories. It was going to help my health. I’m so glad I convinced myself.

This Zumba class is special because of its instructor. Her name is Debbie and she has a refreshing spirit and uplifting smile. When I’m there, my mind doesn’t tell me I’m not good at it. Sure, it helps that there aren’t any mirrors, but I believe it comes down to Debbie’s personality and the friendly faces I see there each time I go. Leigh is a huge fan of Debbie’s and told me I should write a post about her for the Barrow Patch because her story may inspire others. Interviewing her made me feel like a journalist again. It was wonderful. I did get nervous before writing the post because I’m so used to writing all about me, me, me, but once I sat down to do it, I felt great.

Dancing did that. Maybe it likes me more than I thought it did. And even if it doesn’t, I don’t care. It’s impossible for me to hip shake or do the Running Man move without smiling.

Second Recital Reflections

15 Jun

Three sparkly costumes, a gazillion hair/bobby pins hidden in strands of hair, several applications of impossible to apply red lipstick and eight stage visits later, our Dancing Bean has her second recital all wrapped up in our memories.

I’m so proud of her for remembering all those moves! I am amazed by how much they have to learn. And – don’t forget to smile! She just had three dances to know too – some girls her age had four or more. Wowza. I think that’s so impressive and shows such discipline. These girls all love it too. The costume changes, the makeup, the dressing room fun and, of course, the performing. They even know some of the other dancers’ routines. Dancing backstage as they wait for their chance to shine. I especially love how they all quietly sang along to the songs before theirs.

It was a night to cherish and now it’s time to rest up because she’ll soon begin preparing for next year’s show.


Ready for the Show!


Passing Time Between Performances


Bean and Honey


Bean and Her Special Guests (Yay for Paul and Honey!)


Proud of Our Dancing Bean


Dancing Rainbows


Our Sleepy Star

Dancing Bean 2011

10 Jun

Bean, having a blast during her dance recital dress rehearsal. Good luck on the big night!

Second year for ballet:

Second year for tap:

First year for jazz:

Dancing Bean

15 Jun

I have such fond memories of dancing when I was a little girl. I was a Steel City Strutter and loved marching in parades  and getting covered with blue eyeshadow and red lipstick for recitals. My mom tells stories of the time I yelled to our neighbor from the stage, “Hi, Jimmy!”

Nia the Tapper

I loved to dance but I was never the best. Just average. I had a lot of heart and really tried to remember all the steps and hit them on beat. Nia, though, is such a different dancer.

She took the stage for her first recital last weekend and she did so well! She got a little nervous during her first performance when the audience laughed at how cute she and her “fluffy powder puff” friends were but she didn’t give up. Under the bright lights, in front of all those people, she kept going. How did she not freeze up there? Where did she find that bravery? She went on to nail her other three performances and had such a great time.

I watched my little girl grow up a little more that day. She didn’t need mommy as much as the night went on. After each performance, I would rush backstage to help her change costumes but I would find her already getting ready without me. I’m so proud of her. Not only did she do such a wonderful job on stage, she acted like all the prep was no big deal. While I was a bag of nerves, she was cool and gave me the feeling of “I got this, Mom.”

Our little dancing Bean. You make my heart so happy. I can tell, dancing makes yours happy too.

I Feel Good – Tap Routine and Nia’s Favorite
Fluffy Powder Puff – Ballet Routine

Bustin’ Some Moves

27 Jan

Nate: The Dancing Fool

13 Sep

I don’t know what it is about certain Justin Timberlake songs – but whenever Nate hears them, he freezes and then runs to where the music is coming from and breaks it down.  As you can see, he really gets into it. (Sometimes a little too much.)


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