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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Dance Recital 2016

After nine months of dance lessons . . . three and a half hours EVERY Monday . . . for NINE months . . . it was time for the big day.  And even though it was every Monday nine months in the making, it seems like it came so quickly.  As quickly as it came, it was over.

This year we had the pleasure of participating in BOTH recitals.  Ellie was in the 1:00 recital, and Hannah Kate was in the 6:00 recital.  Abbie was in both recitals, but most of her 13 (or however many it was) dances were in the 1:00 recital.  All three girls were so excited.  We did hair at home and then makeup after we arrived at the theater.  We were hauling a lot of gear, and this wasn't all of it!

I really didn't know what to expect from Ellie.  She was so excited to have her hair fixed, to wear makeup and to get dressed in her little costumes.  But dress rehearsal wasn't what I'd hoped.  Oh, I'd hoped it would be different, but I wasn't too surprised.  For her tap dance, she pretty much just stood there with her head hanging as far down as it could possible hang.  There weren't any tears, but it still wasn't very pretty.  She danced a bit for her ballet.  But I really didn't think the recital would go well.  We built her up for it as best we could, and she was all smiles.

Her tap dance (Stayin' Alive) was first and towards the beginning of the first act.  I hung out with her a bit in the dressing room.  She seemed happy.  I decided I would go ahead and take my seat in the audience.  There were two dance helpers in the dressing room with the girls, and her class was sitting together coloring and watching a Disney movie.  She seemed okay with me leaving, but I was a nervous wreck the entire six dances leading up to hers.

I can't even describe what happened when she got on stage.  As soon as she walked out, I knew.  I was sitting on the second row (the perks of having a niece who was celebrating 10 years of dance and got preferential seating!) so I had an up close and very personal view of my girl.  I'm quite certain she wanted nothing more than for the floor to open up and swallow her out of sight!  She made it out on stage, but she kept her hands over her eyes pretty much the whole time.  I'm not even kidding.  Of all the girls in her class, she was the only one not dancing.  When it got to her favorite part in the chorus, one hand finally went out to the side, and those little hips did about three pops.  The audience immediately noticed it, and everyone was cheering for her.  She might come alive after all!  Or not.  As quickly as it came, it passed, and those hands were over her eyes again.  The same thing happened when it got to that same part in the chorus again, and again the audience cheered for her.  When her dance was over, I got up and ran to the dressing room so I could get there before she did.  She was struggling.  And that's when I figured it out.  I really think it was the costume.  Apparently it was itchy on the inside.  And it wasn't pink.  So I ripped that thing off, got her dressed and took her to sit in the back of the theater for the rest of the first act.

Towards the end of the first act, she started crying.  I don't even know why.  So I have absolutely no expectations of anything for her ballet dance in the second act.  Daddy seems to have a way with this girl so we found him during intermission so he could give her a little pep talk.

We gave her and Hannah Kate their flowers.


And then I took her back to the dressing room to get dressed for her ballet dance.  She didn't dance until the end of the second act.  It was still early, and I knew it was going to be a long time before they came to get her class to take the stage.  I decided to stay in the dressing room with her the entire time.  It was so hot in there because the air conditioning wasn't working properly.  It was also very crowded and very noisy.  It was not my favorite part of the day, but I really expected her to completely melt down at any moment.

She did seem excited to put her ballet costume on.  But that means nothing.  At least this costume was PINK.

For the next hour, she did not do anything except sit there and watch all of the other girls being silly.  I have no idea what in the world was going through her mind.  I couldn't even venture to guess.

But she was quite a beauty in her costume.

We didn't get to see Abbie during the recital because she was in a different dressing room upstairs, and she was in a lot of dances.  But she came down and surprised us not too long before it was Ellie's turn to dance.  She gave her a little pep talk.


They finally came to get Ellie's class.  I ran back to the auditorium.  By this time, I was just honestly ready for it to be over.  I was ready to move on to the 6:00 show.  I honestly didn't even expect Ellie to get on stage this time, much less move.  But she proved me wrong.  She proved me dead wrong.  She didn't miss a single beat and danced her little heart out!  It was PERFECT!  I forgot I was sitting beside Hannah Kate and not Seth, and I immediately reached over and squeezed her leg when Ellie began dancing.  I grabbed her leg so hard that it scared her, and I'm pretty sure it hurt!  I could hardly pick my jaw up off the floor!  I ran back to the dressing room so I could get there before her.  As soon as I saw her I couldn't help myself.  I picked her up and danced her around and kissed her all over!  She was just a grinning and giggling.

By this time, the recital had lasted over three hours.  We grabbed our stuff and ran down the street really quickly to get a bite to eat before it was time for Abbie and Hannah Kate to get dressed for the 6:00 recital.  

Hannah Kate's five year solo was her first dance of the evening.  The girls get to choose their own costumes (with approval from the studio, of course) for their five year solo.  Instead of buying another costume that she would only wear once and for 30 seconds at that, we borrowed one of Abbie's old costumes.  It was light blue, which is a color I think looks so pretty on Hannah Kate.  She was so so ready to dance!

And the bun.  She wanted a side bun.  That's actually easier with her hair still being kind of short right now.  But we learned after the rehearsal that I needed to do it differently because part of it was falling out by the time she got to her last dance.  Buns are no joke.  But we did it.  This bun made it through the entire day and all four dances!  

I totally hate selfies.  I totally can not do selfies.  But that was the only way I'd have a picture with my ballerinas.

And here she is with two of her friends.  All three of them danced their five year solos.  So pretty!

Her next dance was tap (Hit the Road Jack).  This was a fun costume.  The dance was very challenging.  It was a little rough around the edges at the rehearsal, but the girls really nailed it at the recital.  These costumes looked really good on stage.

And then it was time for ballet.  All of the girls complained about this costume.  The bodice seams were very scratchy.  But Hannah Kate LOVED the skirt on this costume because of it's fullness and twirl-ability.  And it looked absolutely fabulous on stage.

The costume change between ballet and jazz was so quick . . . as in less than one minute quick! . . . that I didn't have time to take her picture in her jazz costume.  As a matter of fact, she wore her jazz tights underneath her ballet tights to make the costume change easier.  I'm sure it wasn't the most comfortable thing to be wearing two pairs of tights at the same time, but it was just necessary.  Their jazz dance (Hot Stuff) was just like the title.  Hot. Stuff.  They did a great job and owned that stage.

And then . . . it was over.

The day before the recital, Pop and Mimi sent tulips.  I meant to have the girls take a picture with them before we left, but we were in such a hurry getting out the door that I forgot.  So we didn't do that until after we got home.  Keep in mind we sat through and performed through two recitals, each lasting over three hours!  They were both pretty tired, and, if you look closely, you can see a pair of lips on Ellie's forehead!  I'm not sure who they belong to, but it's either MawMaw or Abbie.

I took lots of pictures at the dress rehearsals.  Yes.  Plural.  Since we were in two different recitals, we had to attend two different dress rehearsals.  Here are some of my favorites.

Ellie was absolutely smitten with Abbie's makeup routine!  She didn't budge.


Ellie was being really silly.  I think she was so happy because she didn't have to dance at this rehearsal!

Here's the jazz costume that I didn't get pictures of at the recital.  This was Hannah Kate's favorite costume this year.


Isn't she lovely?!

And, every single time she put this costume on, she would hold the skirt out.

This is one of my favorite pictures.  Abbie was dressed for Thriller.  It was the opening number.  They actually recreated the original Michael Jackson video, including the exact dance moves.  The costuming for this was interesting, but, as a child of the 80s, I totally got it!

Since we were celebrating some pretty big dance accomplishments this year, Ashley and I put a "best wishes" ad in the back of the program for the girls.  They've always wanted one, but this is the first year we did it.  They were so surprised and so excited!
And here are our "official" dance pictures this year.  I just can't even tell you . . . the chances of the sisters having the same color costumes was about one in a million.  The chances of them having coordinating costumes was slim to none.  And the chance of the cousins (this was the first year we had all of the girls take a picture together) having semi-coordinating costumes was pretty much none.  But, as you can see, it was a dance miracle!





1 comment:

Barbara Appling said...

OH wow! I love all of the beautiful costumes - the red, "Hit the Road Jack" one of HK's is my favorite! The sisters in red and cousins pictures turned out beautiful! Love, love love! And I am so glad lil' Miss Ellie came alive in her second number. What a fun, emotional - dare I add, tiring day of dance! Wish Caroline and I could have been there to watch.