Childrearing

My Daughter’s Recital Was Like ‘Dance Moms, Part II’

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My memory of dance recitals is filled with bobby pins and blue shadow. Seriously, why did everyone insist on bright blue eye shadow? I even smile at the thought of Dippity-Doo, that horrible green gel we used to glob on our heads to shellac our buns into place. Recitals meant hours of playing around backstage while your whole family waited in a high school auditorium for you to perform, racks of costume changes and even dressers to help  you with the quick ones. They were so exciting! Man I loved recitals.

So of course, I was thrilled about my daughter’s first dance recital. Her first year of instruction came to close and I just couldn’t wait for the sequins and ridiculous headpieces to come out. Much like the blue eye shadow, every costume is required to have a hugely unnecessary bow, headband or hat. I was all ready to volunteer to help out backstage when a more experienced mother sat me down to explain the flip-side of dance recitals.

I remembered lots of excitement about bringing along my Kaboodle full of make-up. This mother let me know that once you stop being a dancer, recital time isn’t so amazing. In fact, it sounds like a very special, glittery version of hell. Here’s what one back-stage veteran thinks about the end-of-the-year ritual. Apparently Dance Moms is more realistic than we all imagined.

So how many recitals have you done? 

Well, I started when my oldest was six. They actually don’t like the moms of pre-schoolers to help out because you need to clear your girls out after their number is finished. [So that’s why I couldn’t volunteer this year…] And I’ve helped at almost all of her recitals. She’s going to be a senior in high school this coming year. And now my younger daughter is in dance, I’ll still have another six years of recitals for her, as long as she goes through high school. So yea, at least ten recitals, maybe a few more. Those are just end of the year recitals. I also help out at competitions since we started company about five years ago.

That’s a whole lot of time backstage! Do your daughters love that you’re so involved?

Ya know, they do enjoy having me back there. All the girls are nervous and have a million things going on. I know it’s nice for them to actually have “Mom” there to help them change and make sure they have every piece of every costume. I think it’s definitely harder on the girls who have to keep track of all of that stuff on their own. At the same time, I need to help get all the kids ready, or keep the other kids in the room, or get the right group to the right side of the stage. I have other things to do than just look after them, which is frustrating when they’re stressed and nervous.

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