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Monday, May 18, 2015

Hannah Kate is . . . Going Places

The theme for this year's dance recital was Going Places.  Each dance represented a location - city, state, region or country - around the globe that the dancers were experiencing.  The costumes and the music selections were geared toward that particular destination.  

Hannah Kate has been very excited about this recital.  I think this is the most excited she's ever been about a dance recital.  She's always loved them, always enjoyed them, always had fun dancing.  But this year was definitely different.  This was her 4th year of dancing.  Hannah Kate has always done a great job at the recital.  But the past three years, her little classes were still at the stage where they watch their teachers in the wings during the recital.  Their dances weren't necessarily memorized.  And they weren't always together or crisp with their movements.  But that's to be expected with littles.  I knew when I saw the rehearsal last week why it was so different.  She went from watching in the wings to having her dance completely memorized.  The steps and formations were much more complicated than she's ever done.  And for the first time since she started taking dance, it looked like she and the entire class were actually really dancing from a technical standpoint.  This really was a fun dance year.
Aunt Ashley, Abbie and Aunt April gave Hannah Kate this cute dance shirt.  These are a must for recital days because they allow for quick changes and don't mess up the bun.  I had actually ordered her a shirt similar to this a couple of weeks ago.  I can't use my monogram machine right now because my old computer finally died, and the software for my machine isn't compatible with my laptop.  So that's why I ordered her one instead of doing it myself.  But I found out last Wednesday that the girl wasn't going to be able to do the shirt for her.  It's a long story, but at that point it was too late, and there was nothing I could do.  No one knew about this, and I didn't know what the A's had gotten her so I really had to laugh when Hannah Kate opened her gift.
Because of the way their dances fell during the program this year, Hannah Kate and Abbie were able to watch a good bit of the recital together.  Hannah Kate had to sit in Abbie's lap though because we were only allotted a certain number of tickets together, and we didn't have enough.

This was Abbie's 9th year of dance.  Next year will be extra special.  Abbie will dance a solo on stage for her 10th year, and Hannah Kate will dance a solo on stage for her 5th year!  We will actually be on stage in the wings while she dances and then will present her flowers on stage.  As I watched the 5th year dancers this year, I found myself getting teary eyed.  I didn't know any of them, but all I could think about was MY girl dancing her 5th year solo on stage next year, and I just couldn't help myself.
It was finally time for Hannah Kate's first dance.  We took a selfie together in the dressing room.
This is Hannah Kate's class with Nanny, our beloved Office Manager at the studio.  Nanny has been the Office Manager for more years than I know, and she loves all of the girls so much.  The feeling is mutual.  She's also a huge help to us dance moms.  The first two years that Hannah Kate danced, she danced with the same little group of girls.  But last year the majority of those girls didn't return.  She ended up in a new class and knew only one friend.  This year was even more different.  She had never danced with any of these girls before and didn't know any of them.  There's a set of triplets in this class, and five of the dancers are on the competition prep team.  So I think it was very intimidating for Hannah Kate at first.  She really has blossomed over the past couple of years, but she is still very shy in new environments and around big groups of new people.  She struggled with that at the beginning of the year.  But all of the girls in her class are really sweet and have some big personalities.  She adjusted quickly.
This first dance was the jazz dance.  They went to the Sahara Desert and danced to Dive in the Pool Let's Get Soaking Wet.  This was Hannah Kate's very first year taking jazz.  I think that's true for most of the girls in this class.  And let me tell you, Miss Jade didn't start them off easy either!  This dance was super fast, high energy and quite complicated.  But Hannah Kate did it!  This was her favorite dance, and it was a lot of fun to watch.  The crowed loved it.  There was lots of personality, and each girl had a little solo part, too.  I really enjoyed this dance; I just thought the costume was missing some material.  But Hannah Kate loved this costume, too.  As the girls were lining up to go on stage, I couldn't help myself.  I love seeing these little buns all lined up!
Hannah Kate's next dance was tap.  They went to Colorado.  I don't remember the name of the song they danced to, but it was very high energy also.  Hannah Kate said this dance was very hard.  It was much more involved than any of her tap dances in the past.  But it turned out cute.  Their costumes weren't really costumes, in my opinion, but the different colored pants really looked great on stage.  I felt sorry for them though.  These outfits were HOT.  At least we have something cute to wear next winter.  Too bad it probably won't get cold enough here to wear it though!
Hannah Kate's last dance was ballet.  They traveled to the Middle East and danced to some kind of middle eastern instrumental music.  This dance was very interesting for a ballet dance and quite beautiful.  Miss Katherine was Hannah Kate's ballet instructor.  She was new to our studio this year, but she has been dancing for 30 years and has over 15 years of experience in dance education.  She is hard, and she demands a lot from her students.  But she is GOOD.  And all of her classes looked good.  I could tell which dances she choreographed and taught.  From a technical standpoint, they were the cleanest dances in the recital.  I hope Hannah Kate will have Miss Katherine next year, too.

When I looked up, I couldn't help but take this picture.  Doesn't that bun look awesome?! In case I haven't mentioned it, I'm so thankful for hot buns!  They are a dance mom's best friend.
My beautiful ballerina girl!  But I love that she's not only beautiful on the outside.  She's so very beautiful on the inside, too!
As we were patiently waiting to go on stage for the last dance, Hannah Kate sat down for a minute.  I'd give anything to know what she was thinking!
For the very first time this year, Ellie came to the recital.  She has not been before because these recitals are three hours and then six hours if we go to both.  But this year I wanted Ellie to come.  I wanted to see her reaction to the dancing.  I actually wasn't able to see a whole lot because I stayed in the dressing room except to watch Hannah Kate's dances.  But it's my understanding that she remained captivated pretty much the entire time.  She sat and watched.  I think Hannah Kate's jazz dance was her favorite because she laughed a lot during that one.  And prior to the recital, she kept talking about going to "Hannah Kate's dance party."  It was the cutest thing!
About a month ago, I was talking to Nanny at the studio during Hannah Kate's class.  Ellie was running around.  Nanny asked me about registering Ellie for next year.  I looked at her like she was crazy!  When she asked me why not, I said that I thought Ellie was just too young.  And then she reminded me that Hannah Kate was Ellie's age when she started taking dance.  Oh yeah.  I forgot about that.  But then I told her that Ellie was just a much different child and that I couldn't imagine her even staying on her number, much less doing what her teacher told her to without her running around everywhere.  Nanny just laughed and said she thought she'd be fine.  She encouraged me to go ahead and register Ellie anyway since it's just one registration fee per family.  I told her I'd think about it.  The very next week we were sitting in the lobby during Hannah Kate's class.  Ellie was bouncing around as usual.  One of the other moms looked at me and said she thought Ellie should be taking dance.  I just laughed and told her we'd probably get kicked out.  

But I really began giving it some thought.  I can't imagine having two dancers next year . . . two dancers to coordinate during the recital, two dancers to get dressed and changed in such a short amount of time.  Besides school and church, Mason and Hannah Kate participate in only one extra-curricular activity each.  And sometimes it seems impossible to get everybody where they need to be at the time they need to be there.  I can not even imagine adding a third to the mix!  And then two weeks ago, Ellie came into the kitchen.  She asked me to "look and take my picture."  When I turned around to look, she was standing in 1st position and then proceeded to do a plie'!  And then as I thought about it, I realized that it would be Abbie's 10th year, Hannah Kate's 5th year and Ellie's 1st year.  So I think we'll have a third dancer next year!

This dancing stuff is totally not Seth's thing.  But he has never missed one of Hannah Kate's recitals.  He even danced on stage with her the 1st year.  We were watching one of the older ballet classes - and he just hates ballet (there's just no other way to put it) - and I thought he was going to die.  I couldn't help it.  I started giggling and probably disturbed the people around us.  We enjoyed talking about the on-stage antics of some of the "baby" classes and laughing about which one we thought Ellie might be - either the child who gets on stage and immediately runs back off crying or the one who just shows out and does everything she's not supposed to.  But here's Daddy and one of his girls.
I couldn't be more proud of my dancing girl!  We absolutely enjoyed the recital this year.  And I'm really looking forward to next year!  This girl right here is, no doubt, going places!
Oh the places you'll go.
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So . . . get on your way!
~Dr. Seuss


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